A lot of changes for the better

Monique Chiasson
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A lot of changes for the better

NORTH RIVER - The destruction of Molly's Dairy Bar in North River does not mean the end of a community icon.
The popular dairy bar was demolished last week, but owners Bev and Gary Whidden are rebuilding the facility, with many new and updated features to come.
"The building had its day, it was unsafe especially the back portion and roof structure," said Bev, who along with her husband have owned the dairy bar for six years. "People will see a lot of changes for the better."
The new facility, which will be named Molly's Dairy Bar and Abbie's Cafe, will double in size and will add new features including indoor seating, a patio, a cafÉ, public washrooms, handicapped entrance and increased parking.
"We will have in and out (lanes) and lined and paved parking," said Bev.
She anticipates the ice cream and dairy bar opening April of 2010 with the cafÉ being fully functional in June.
Bev said the community relies on the dairy bar and its continued service is important to the public.
"It's a family place to go. It's an icon that everybody knows ... we've had guests from all over Canada. There's a sense of pride and tradition," said Bev.
She also has childhood memories of special trips to the popular spot.
"I remember stopping by from the exhibition and taking Sunday drives ... that was our treat if we had the money," she said of the family of 11.
The dairy bar was built in 1943 by James Paul Norrie and was originally called Fundy Jersey Farm.
"It was a hobby farm and dairy bar to begin with ... and didn't sell ice cream until many years later," said Truro's Rod Norrie, son of James Paul.
"I remember brow-beating the men to get us free chocolate milk. They would give it to us as long as it didn't interfere with supper," recalled Norrie.
The family sold the business in the 1950s a few years after James Paul died. According to Norrie, North River's Bill Murray bought the business, followed by Salmon River's
Sherman Donkin and then the Whiddens.
Despite the various owners, Norrie said it was a little emotional watching the building come down last week.
"It was run down and an old building ... things change ... but there was a little sorrow," said Norrie.


Organizations: Fundy Jersey Farm

Geographic location: NORTH RIVER, Canada, Salmon River

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Recent comments

  • MR
    January 18, 2010 - 10:18

    I couldn't believe it was gone when I drove by the other day. But before I read this I figured they would re-build since they were pouring foundation.

    Good luck with the new shop!

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 10:17

    We've only been to the old store once and it was a great experience! While it was busy and we had to wait our turn, the ice cream was well worth the wait.

    Best of luck with your new shop - can't wait to check it out in spring 2010!

  • Earl & Alice
    January 18, 2010 - 10:15

    Wishing you all the best with your new building. That's been a must stop whenever we are in Truro.

  • MC
    January 18, 2010 - 10:06

    Positive comments are always nicer than negative ones; what we have to realize and allow is that everyone has a right to their own opinion, which is neither right or wrong and cannot be judged by others. You can agree or disagree - it is just an opinion. I loved going to the Fundy Dairy Bar when I was younger. Unfortunately, the price at Molly's was a bit high and the service was for the most part good. Perhaps at the new establishment you could give the students a few tips on good service - it is a learning experience for those who are a bit younger. I agree that they should have debit as a lot of people do not carry cash. Glad to see the tradition carry on. Good luck with your new adventure.

  • Anderson
    January 18, 2010 - 10:03

    mmmmmmm....ice cream....

    Molly's is a favorite stop. Good luck!

  • sam
    January 18, 2010 - 09:59

    Wow, I didn't expect negative comments like those above. My experience with molly's has always been satisfactory. The only thing is that CA$H was the only way you could pay for your ice cream; I hope they take debit card at the new place.

    Maybe Truro needs another dairy bar!

  • B.
    January 18, 2010 - 09:56

    We can't wait to see the new building in the spring, congratulations Bev and Gary!!

  • Roger
    January 18, 2010 - 09:55

    I remember going to the Fundy Dairy Bar when I was a kid. I still go there from time to time but I am turned off by how expensive the cones are.

    I've never really had a problem with their service. One thing people need to realize is that they hire mostly students. Too many don't know what good customer service is or are unwilling to do more than the bare minimum. So it's not something that only happens at Molly's.

  • rediculous
    January 18, 2010 - 09:49

    Ignorance is bliss..complain complain complain must be nice to have such a perfect life..if you don't like it go somewhere else..keep up the good work kids..see you in 2010!!!

  • L.K
    January 18, 2010 - 09:49

    I worked for Bev and Gary for two summers and it was an awesome experience. They are considerate people, have huge hearts and really kept the place clean. The customers for the most part were fun but mostly it was my co-workers and working for the Whiddens. I wish them all the best and I know how bad they have wanted this and how long they have waited. Is anything more delectable than ice cream? Why even the respectable eat ice cream. :)

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 09:48

    The comments and the insults slung at people in this paper are ridiculous.
    If you don't like the place don't go, to out right insult the owners of this business publically and intentionally try to hurt feelings is outraging. You should be ashamed.
    They are business owners trying to better this town and area and you attack a feel good story!

  • macleanT
    January 18, 2010 - 09:48

    Rod I agree with you- some people just can not stand someone else getting ahead through hard work and being willing to lay their money on the line.
    Remember people -PROFIT is not a dirty word.
    I remember going to Fundy Dairy Bar as a kid, and that was not yeasterday, taking my kids there for a Sunday ice cream. This summer I had the extreme pleasure of taking my 2 year old grandson there so we could split
    his first strawberry cone with me.
    As for service- you will get all kinds of service in every business in Truro- so good, some not so good-. In my working like I am sure I have provided some service to someone that was no what it should have been. The young people working there will learn that good service will bring reward, just as we all have.
    I look forward to enjoying another strawberry ice cream with my grandson at the new building.
    Best of Luck to you and your staff.

  • Skeptic
    January 18, 2010 - 09:47

    Good courage, Bev & Gary!

    I can guarantee anyone making negative comments has never has never run a local business. It's an up-hill battle.

    B&G...please get Scotsburn to bring back licorice ice cream!!

  • greg
    January 18, 2010 - 09:47

    Soon, no one will want a story doneabout them in the TDN if all you get are mean comments by rude people. The story here is about people improving there business in our area.The TDN was just putting out a good local story. The sun came up this morning didn't it, 99% of us should be happy for that.

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 09:40

    Molly's is in no way more expensive then Dairy Queen, and for sure the quality is a lot better.
    As far as the staff goes...what do you people want??? Someone to bend over and kiss your feet because you walked in the door. They sure don't make you feel unwelcome.
    As usual I am responding to the donkey's of this town when I should just shake my head and laugh like I usually do at you all.

  • Kass
    January 18, 2010 - 09:39

    Congradulations Bev & Gary Pay no Attention to the Jealous and Self Righteous comments just consider who they are coming from .We can Hardly wait till OPENING DAY :o) We will be there See You Than .

  • Joanne
    January 18, 2010 - 09:38

    I am floored by the negative comments on here, I have been to this place many times and have always received excellent service. Bev and Gary, please ignore the negative and snide comments,perhaps these people haven't had their coffee this morning!

    Keep up the good work!