Our History in a Nutshell
Part I - Really Old Stuff
Perry’s Nut House has been referred to as a Maine institution since 1927 when I.L. Perry first
opened his doors to sell pecans and other assorted nuts. Mr. Perry took advantage of a bumper
crop of pecans in Georgia, bringing the taste of the South to the folks of "Downeast" Maine. He
also had added some curios and museum pieces collected on his travels. This was so successful
that Mr. Perry needed a larger shop to do business in, so he move Perry’s to his cigar factory
on Route 1. Originally a sea captain’s home, Perry used it to store and make cigars, before
turning it into the Nut House.
As Perry's reputation grew, not only for the unusual, but quality goods as well as the tasty
nuts, such notables as Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Waldo Peirce (prominent painter and friend
of Ernest Hemingway,) Faye Emerson (film and television actress,) and Pierre Monteux (symphony
conductor and instructor) were counted among the many customers. At the time, Perry was mentioned
in the same breath as promoters Ziegfield and P.T. Barnum.
The collection of curios grew larger and more unusual. When one wandered through the expansive
shop, one could gaze upon an alligator hide, trick mirrors, boxing bear cubs, and a water buffalo
shot by Teddy Roosevelt, just to name a few. When Perry died in 1940, the store fell under the
management of Joshua Treat III, a local man and a nineteen-year-old entrepreneur.
Mr. Treat fell in step with Perry's lead and took great care to retain the "amazement" of the
originator's vision. When he returned home from a stint with the Navy during World War II, he
brought with him a huge man-eating clam, an albatross from the South Seas, a gorilla from Africa.
Many more curios were routinely added - Perry's Nut House had become a "must see" attraction
around the world. The nuts, fudge, and quality goods continued to be offered.
Part II - Probably In Your Lifetime
After many years and several owner changes, most of the curios and museum pieces were auctioned
off in 1997 in a plan to develop the bay-view property into condominiums. But so many people
still came looking for Perry's (along with its unusual displays and merchandise) that the plan
never came to pass and the business was restarted.
Unfortunately, ever since 1997, many people mistakenly believed that it was closed for good.
SURPRISE! In 2004, new owners gave Perry's a fresh, bright interior, and a comfortable, fun/nutty,
family-friendly atmosphere with something for everyone. Not just for tourists, anymore!
Perry’s Nut House Today - New is Good
A tall street sign and expanded parking areas welcome today's customer. Large rows of cabinets
with shelled nut bins (easy to access) are a favorite in the shop. The pristine counter displays
award-winning fudge - Perry's own fresh-made flavors & traditionals. We showcase many Maine
products, including wooden toys, candles, hand-made chocolates, etc. Several family fun products
have video demos. Perry's staff will promptly offer a sample of fudge, eagerly listen to your
stories from the old days at Perry's, and make sure that your visit is fun, nutty and rewarding.
The guest book of comments is filled by customers who are happy to give feedback on their fondly
remembered Route 1 destination in Belfast, Maine. Delightful anecdotes surface from as far back
as the late 1920’s.
Old is Good - Even in 2023
Rediscover old favorites: The original mounted gorilla, alligator hide, python skin, and other
mounted items returned to Perry's in August 2009. When the news came out, hundreds of fans had
to visit the store to see for themselves - many happy and excited crowds of customers! In addition
to the newest (oldest?) acquisitions, the funhouse mirror still sets off giggles, the old salt
in his outhouse continues to strike up a monologue when in range, the albatross awaits admiration,
and full-sized original murals are back on the walls. The remembered aroma of fresh fudge and
shelled nuts wafting throughout the shop dares you to try some. For those who look for and like
the old gag items, we still carry them (fake dog doodoo included) and are always refilling the
displays - popular from ages 5 to 95.
Taste our Perry's Family Fixins
Along with this brand-new web site we are developing a Perry's food label. Initially we will
offer jams and jellies made with Maine-grown berries and fruits. Who can get enough Wicked Red
Raspberry, Verry Wild Blueberry, or Summah Strawberry flavors to satisfy the sweet tooth in
all of us? For the more daring foody, try our Blisterining Blueberry or Sizzlin' Strawberry
with just the right amount of habanero peppers to warm your toes!
Down the road (dirt, of course) we plan to add a variety of savory Maine favorites to tickle
your tastebuds. The best food you'll find in camp cookin' across the backwoods of Maine. Another
way to take a piece of Maine home with you.
Home made with pure butter and cream - no shortcuts. Your last bite is as memorable as your
first. No one leaves Perry's without an offer of a free taste. (Are you surprised that about
99.9% of our shoppers accept one, or two, or sometimes three?) Some summer flavors include,
orange cream, wild Maine blueberry cheesecake and pirate's fudge. When the leaves start
falling, and the kids are back to school, pumpkin pie and caramel apple pie fudges make their
appearance, reminding us that the holidays are soon approaching. Popular Christmas flavors
include divinity with walnuts, eggnog (made with real eggnog). Of course, there are the traditional
flavors for the fudge purists, such as chocolate, peanut butter, and penuche.