A landmark restaurant in central Newfoundland will cook its last batch of wedge fries this weekend.
Hiscock's, home of the legendary wedge fries, has served customers in Grand Falls-Windsor, across the province and beyond with homestyle cooked meals for 54 years.
The doors will close for good early Sunday morning after the final late-night customers have been served.
Owner Marilyn Shallow said it was a tough decision to make.
'Many people say if they leave here and go to the mainland, they have to have the wedge fries in their suitcase to take to one of the family members — or they're not allowed to visit' - Marilyn Shallow
"So many franchises have opened up in Grand Falls-Windsor in the last six to eight months. It's really overwhelming that so many franchises have come into the one area for this size of a town and everybody just can't make it anymore," Shallow told On the Go host Ted Blades.
"I think it's a whole new generation. This is the fourth generation for us, and we've been very lucky to be able to continue on for so many years. But with this new generation, it seems like they're more into the franchise places, and they want to bring their friends there. It's only the people my age and generation that still really appreciate our food."
When the Hiscock family first opened the business in 1960, it was located on Main Street in the then-Town of Windsor. Shallow decided to move the business into the busier downtown area of Grand Falls-Windsor about a year ago.
She said she's been involved with the family business since she was five years old.
"I can remember the first day my mother and father opened it. I thought it was wonderful that they had a candy store, with so many candies there — I started standing on Coke boxes to reach the counter. It saddens me very much to have to come to this point, because this business, which I don't consider a business — it's my life, my home."
Shallow said she has happily watched generations of people walk through the doors, grow up and then return with their own families.
"It's just wonderful to watch them come back. In the summertime we have so many people from home come [back] to Grand Falls-Windsor. They're getting off the plane and going right straight to the store without even going home first – they just have to have Hiscock's."
Origins of Hiscock's Wedge Fries
Shallow said while her father, Wallace Hiscock, was at a food show in Toronto a number of years ago, he sampled some wedge fries that were being prepared.
"He really liked the batter ... the coating that was on it ... and after some investigation, some work and thought put into it, he decided to start the wedge fry at our restaurant. He had a special formula made up, and with some trial and error he found one that he liked and it became a part of the business."
Shallow said despite the restaurant's closing, there is a demand from local supermarkets for Hiscock's frozen wedge fries.
"It's been almost a year since anyone had them in the stores, and they're very eager for me to supply them again. So maybe I might just look around and put that idea together and start with just the frozen wedge fries."
Shallow said when she turns the key and closes the door for the last time on Sunday morning, reality will sink in.
When asked what was next for her, she said the iconic wedge fries are still on her mind.
"I really haven't decided. For some reason I would like to keep that still going so people can still have their wedge fries and take home. Many people say if they leave here and go to the mainland, they have to have the wedge fries in their suitcase to take to one of the family members — or they're not allowed to visit."