A Q&A with Erik Linn of Heggy’s Nut Shop
Erik Linn was a counter clerk 26 years ago when he started working at Heggy’s Nut Shop.
Today, he is president of the Canton standby, which has been serving coneys, buttered french fries and hot fudge sundaes from its lunch counter since 1950.
“It looks almost identical,” Linn says of Heggy’s vintage and nostalgia-inspiring interior. “Heck, even the subway tiles on the walls have become trendy again.”
Q. Do you have a lot of customers who remember the early days of Heggy’s?
A. “We do. They tell us all the time they’ve been coming here since 1950. We hear quite a lot of stories; some are sad, some are happy. They talk about losing loved ones that brought them here as kids.”
Q. Is the menu basically unchanged from the old days?
A. “A lot of the recipes are still the same. We make our own soups, coney sauce and ice cream. The menu changes a bit here and there. Years ago, they never had salads, so we’ve gone a little way toward some healthier options. We’re going to start having barbecue here soon—some brisket, some pulled pork; we might get into smoked sausage. We’re going to get the stuff from a local smoker. From what I’ve sampled, it’s really delicious.”
Q. What are the most popular items?
A. “Turtle sundaes, with caramel, hot fudge and pecans, are probably the most popular. Our hot fudge is amazing. Burgers, coneys and french fries with a pat of butter have been the staples for 68 years.”
Q. Fries with butter is a quirky thing. Did Heggy’s invent that?
A. “That goes back to when Harry’s Nut House was on East Tusc. When you ask new customers if they want butter on their fries, they look at you like, ‘What?’ ”
Q. Do you have other employees who have been there a long time?
A. “Shari Smith, one of the servers, has been here 47 years. She’s still got a good sense of humor. Darren (Morgan) has been here 30 years. (Past president) John Tucker, who just retired, had 49 years.”
Q. Wrapped candy and nuts are a huge part of the Heggy’s operation. How crazy does it get during the holidays?
A. “We shut the kitchen down for two weeks and do an express line checkout in the dining room.”
Q. What are your other big candy holidays?
A. “Easter is our second biggest.”
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday