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Putnam Pantry Candy and Ice Cream Smorgasboard Danvers MA Family Owned and Operated - 3rd Generation!

Posted on: June 4, 2009



2017 update! Last time we visited Putnam Pantry we spied some changes going on, as evidenced by the uncovering of some of the vintage wallpaper that used to decorate this historic candy / ice cream house.

Big news is that we can now add “Cathie’s Cafe”  to what you will find here at Putnam Pantry! I reached out to Cathie Emerson, owner/chef at the Pantry for details.  She and her husband Eric purchased the business 3 years ago (from Eric’s father, whose father -Eric’s Grandfather – started the business originally) so they are now 3rd generation family owners.

Here are some of the changes you will see when you visit Putnam Pantry:

The entryway has been made more accessible and the rest rooms are now on the main level! This is great news for many folks, as previously you had to tread carefully down the well worn linoleum steps to even wash your hands.

Putnam Pantry Route 1 Saugus MA Retro Roadmap Roundup 2015

She reassured me that they had kept the old fashioned charm of the original Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Store, but ALSO  and added a small cafe that serves coffee/espresso, PLUS homemade soups, bakery items, salads and sandwiches.

Hooray for not fixing what wasn’t broken. Their ice cream smorgasbord is what dreams are made of!

Putnam Pantry Route 1 Saugus MA Retro Roadmap Roundup 2015

They have also added an outdoor patio for outside seating ,complete with a koi pond and waterfalls.

“It has been very important to us to keep the original charm that made Putnam Pantry famous, while at the same time giving it the physical updates that it needed so that we may continue to serve customers for at least another 65 years!”

Thank you Cathie and Eric for ensuring the continued legacy of this famous place.

Betty White at Putnam Pantry Route 1 Saugus MA Retro Roadmap Roundup 2015

My original 2009 Post:

As a child Putnam Pantry was the mythical “place we went only once driving up to Grammie’s in New Hampshire, and it was this place where you could make your own sundae and put any toppings you wanted to on it, and as many as you want and it was just the greatest place I loved it and all the candy and ice cream…”
Putnam Pantry

This strong sweet memory was enough to probably make it one of my first road trip destinations when I got my license, and I am happy to say all these years later that the Pantry is going strong and still worth a visit.

Putnam Pantry Route 1 Saugus MA Retro Roadmap Roundup 2015

Built in 1951 in a converted old shoe factory, it is adjacent to the birthplace of General Israel Putnam. He was the guy who made the battle of Bunker Hill famous with his line, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes”. The colonial decor is reminiscent of his era, as well as the 50’s when colonial was big as well, especially in New England.

hmm what to have for thankgiving?

They make their own candy downstairs, over 300 kinds, using old New England recipes – hello penuche! My fave part of the pantry however, is the ice cream smorgasbord.
penuche sundae
They have all sorts of ice cream flavors and toppings to choose from, but I have perfected my favorite combination of flavors and rarely stray from that wonderful combo of vanilla ice cream, penuche sauce, whipped cream and coconut macaroon bits. Numma num!

Ice cream parlour table

With it’s home made ice cream, nostalgic ice cream parlor decor and tasty treats Putnam Pantry is one of the places along that famous stretch of Route 1 north of Boston that make a great roadtrip destination. check it out on a sunny day and you won’t be disappointed!