'It's an icon in Glace Bay': Cape Breton chip wagon marks 70 years in business
A Cape Breton chip wagon is marking its 70th anniversary, making it one of the oldest in the country.
The Glace Bay chip wagon has been a downtown staple for generations.
It all began in 1946, when its original owners moved the wagon from Montreal because that city had passed a no-vending bylaw.
Over the last seven decades, there has been great fries and great memories.
“I've been coming over here, I guess, since I was a little fella,” says Brian Shaw, customer. “When my father would take me to the Russell Theatre and the chip wagon was on Commercial Street. So after the movies, it was always a nice treat to get a box of fries.”
“The first box of chips I bought here was 10 cents and 66 years ago,” says Gordon Simms, customer.
Mike Yorke has owned the wagon for 30 years. He says people keep coming back, sometimes travelling long distances, to savour the taste of nostalgia.
“The people look forward to it here in Glace Bay every year,” says Yorke. “You hear it from day one you put it out, ‘summer's here, the Glace Bay chip wagon is out.’”
Nearly everything in the 1942 model truck is original, even the 74 year old deep-fryer.
“The work that's involved to keep it running after 70 years, and to keep everything, right down to the scoop they use, original, it's just amazing,” says Shaw.
Yorke believes his truck can last another 20 or 25 years. He says he has had offers, but has no plans to sell.
“The wagon belongs in Glace Bay. It's an icon in Glace Bay and in Glace Bay it will stay,” says Yorke.
The chip wagon's 70th anniversary was celebrated over the weekend with a cake and a proclamation from the mayor.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald