Hiscock’s Wedge Fries to close up shop

Andrea Gunn
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Owner cites large franchised companies for loss of business

Anybody craving a feed of Hiscock’s Wedge Fries will have to act quickly.

The iconic Grand Falls-Windsor establishment is closing its doors this weekend, and will serve its last order of famous wedge fries this Saturday night.

Hiscock’s Wedge Fries has been a cornerstone in Grand Falls-Windsor since it opened its doors in 1960. An archetypal mom-and-pop establishment, the locally owned restaurant is famous undoubtedly across the province, and arguably further, for the tasty potato treat it is named after.

Hiscock’s Wedge Fries posted on its official Facebook page Monday to tell fans and followers that it will close up shop April 26 after serving the community for 54 years.

“Due to over crowding Cromer Avenue and area with franchises and lack of customers we will be stepping out of the dog eat dog world,” the post read. “Thank you so very much to all of our local customers.”

The post was followed by many concerned fans of the establishment expressing their disappointment with the news.

“How could our town give up on you, you were my favorite place,” one poster said in response.

“This is absolutely ridiculous. Our town has had Hiscocks for years no matter what businesses were brought here….Really wish this wasn't true!” read another.

As sad as Hiscock’s fans are to see them go, no one is as disappointed as current owner Marilyn Shallow. The daughter of Hiscock’s founders Wallace and Flo Hiscock, Shallow has been working at the restaurant since she “could stand on the Coke boxes and reach the counter,” as she puts it.

“By the time I was 14 I was full time,” she said. “There was seven of us, and we all took turns here working growing up. Eventually I was the only one left who wanted to take the business.”

Just last spring, Hiscock’s moved from its historic location on Main Street its current location in the Shalaps Centre on 7 Church Road.

Shallow said she thought the move to the downtown area, near pubs and the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium, would revive their business, but it wasn’t enough to keep up.

“There’s just too much competition. There’s too many places open,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest reason.”

There’s lots of memories over 54 years, lots of them. We’ve made a lot of friends. Marilyn Shallow

The decision to close Hiscock’s didn’t come easy for Shallow. She said she’s saddened to see the restaurant’s decades-long history in the Grand Falls-Windsor come to an end.

“There’s lots of memories over 54 years, lots of them. We’ve made a lot of friends,” Shallow said.

Shallow said some of her best memories are from when she was working in the restaurant with her parents, especially her mother.

“Mom was a very good people person. Everybody loved her. She had a great personality and she could talk to anybody,” Shallow reminisced.

One of the things Shallow said she has always loved about her job is making her customers happy through her food, and seeing the look of delight on their faces when they try it for the first time.

“In the summertime you’d meet people from all over the world who had heard about us from friends and family,” said Shallow. “As soon as they ate the wedge fries they were always amazed at how good they tasted.”

Over the years customers at Hiscock’s have included locals, international visitors, ministers, and premiers. The restaurant even catered to rock stars during Salmon Festival.

But above everything else, there’s one thing Shallow said she will miss the most about working at her family’s restaurant.

“My good, loyal customers,” she said. “I’m going to be heartbroken that I can’t feed them anymore.”

Though Hiscock’s Wedge Fries will no longer serve customers fresh-from-the-fryer wedge fries, onion rings, and other home-cooked delicacies, Shallow said she is entertaining the idea of selling frozen wedge fries in supermarkets — a business venture Hiscock’s owner had attempted once before.

“There are a lot of stores requesting our frozen wedge fries, but we hadn’t gotten around to it yet, I was just putting it on hold. But we might go back to selling the frozen fries in the supermarket,” Shallow said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Cromer Avenue, Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium

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Recent comments

  • former windsor resident
    April 26, 2014 - 19:29

    hiscocks was just another business that begun to fade away when the Canadian national railway pulled out and when Windsor joined grandfalls. I will always remember hiscocks for its fries, burgers, and milk shakes. main street as become a ghost town all thanks to the politicians and the town of grandfalls who had everything handed to them on a silver platter by the paper company, but their cookie jar went empty when the mill closed. thanks hiscocks for the great childhood memories.

  • Peggy
    April 25, 2014 - 11:32

    You have work hard over the years. to keep the family business going. You have carried on the family name and the great tasting food Mom and Dad started so many years ago .I know they would be very proud of you, it will be hard for you to let go but be proud, knowing you gave it your all, Its such a shame that people would rather buy cheep garbage burgers and fries than to spend a couple extra dollars and get home made ones from Hiscock's.

    • a business man
      April 26, 2014 - 09:20

      Actually, as a franchise owner, it am happy to hear that people have chosen NOT to spend a couple of dollars to get Hiscock's fries. I am sure that those people are enjoying that money and whatever they used it on. It is not a shame that Hiscock's is closing, but it is great news for franchise owners.

  • a business man
    April 24, 2014 - 13:57

    While I did enjoy their fries, as a franchise owner, it is great to see that consumers have chose global brands over small businesses. Perhaps this is due to overall product value. In any case, by reading the article, I am also happy to hear that there was only one family member who wanted to run this business. It is good to hear that the successes of the this business enabled the other family members to move on to presumably better opportunities.

    • loyal customer
      April 26, 2014 - 09:45

      a business man - yes, I too am glad that consumers have chosen pre-packaged, production line edible consumer products from a global conglomerate with unlimited corporate marketing resources. It makes me feel great to know that customers and employees are treated only as cogs in achieving bottom line corporate shareholder profitability. Nice!

    • A business woman
      April 28, 2014 - 03:20

      I am sadden to hear! Hiscocks has been a long standing attraction for GF-W. After reading the business man's comments above, obviously, noting that both are from the same person, that this person is as shallow as the mass franchisees feeding obseity rates for less across the globe; net income, money making minds with little care for the consumer. I am from GF-W and a small place at home meant more than just wedge fries. There was something nostalgic about going to Hiscocks. I will certainly miss having the option to go. Business is business, business man, but there's no need to make a public display of greed and insensitivity. They're closing shop. One less competitor for you, until the next franchise opens. Let it go and wish the heartbroken owner well.

    • Llew
      April 28, 2014 - 09:48

      Haha, "overall product value".

    • willyschilly
      April 30, 2014 - 00:30

      WAHHHHH? HUH??? WHAT !!!

  • Jeff
    April 24, 2014 - 13:08

    How very Newfoundlandish. As soon as something shiny, big, new, and American comes in, we drop everything and rush to it. We should be better than this. I'm sorry to see Hiscock's close its doors and wish the family all my best.

  • Shirley Bowers
    April 23, 2014 - 20:07

    It is a sad ending to a long standing business in this area. Hiscock's name has been known for their food and service and Mrs. Hiscock was at the old store every night. Everyone knew her and now the same goes for Marilyn. Too many fast food places for one town of this size and it is evident that some will lose. So long, you will be missed.

  • Shirley Bowers
    April 23, 2014 - 20:05

    It is a sad ending to a long standing business in this area. Hiscock's name has been known for their food and service and Mrs. Hiscock was at the old store every night. Everyone knew her and now the same goes for Marilyn. Too many fast food places for one town of this size and it is evident that some will lose. So long, you will be missed.

  • Shirley Bowers
    April 23, 2014 - 20:03

    It is a sad ending to a long standing business in this area. Hiscock's name has been known for their food and service and Mrs. Hiscock was at the old store every night. Everyone knew her and now the same goes for Marilyn. Too many fast food places for one town of this size and it is evident that some will lose. So long, you will be missed.

  • Shirley Bowers
    April 23, 2014 - 19:57

    It is a sad ending to a long standing business in this area. Hiscock's name has been known for their food and service and Mrs. Hiscock was at the old store every night. Everyone knew her and now the same goes for Marilyn. Too many fast food places for one town of this size and it is evident that some will lose. So long, you will be missed.

  • B Cave
    April 23, 2014 - 18:14

    I grew up on hiscocks. We lived across the street on main. Everyone will miss the good food especially at 4am. I would like to thank the hiscocks family (wally,Flo,Ray,Marilyn,Shaun,donna,rick)for all the years of service.

  • Blake Crossley
    April 23, 2014 - 18:06

    Come to Fort McMurray!

  • Pat Ivany
    April 22, 2014 - 23:16

    Sad to hear the news, I can remember the day it became Hiscocks.