A Family Tradition
In 1945, Clint and Dot (Nana) Congdon, originally from Colebrook, NH, opened Congdon’s Restaurant on Main Street in Kennebunk. The restaurant was a thriving business, but the main reason people kept coming back was Nana’s homemade doughnuts. They later sold the restaurant, moving the doughnut equipment into a barn where they wholesaled doughnuts to area stores.
In 1955, Nana Congdon, and her son-in-law Herb Brooks, built Congdon’s where it sits today. Fried seafood and grill items were added to the take-out menu, but the mainstay of the business was still the doughnuts. In 1962, the Pancake Room Restaurant was added to the property where “Breakfast Anytime” was its main theme then.
Over the next eight years, Herb and his wife Bev, expanded their business to include doughnut outlets in Old Orchard, Kennebunk, and Ogunquit. Tragically, they were both killed in an airplane crash in 1965. The following year, Herb’s sister Eleanor, with her husband Richard Leech, took over management of the business. Continuing the family tradition. Over the years, Congdon’s has seen many changes. In April of 1979, a propane gas leak completely destroyed our old take-out stand, taking with it many wonderful memories. Upon rebuilding, an inside dining room was added to our new home enabling us to stay open year round.
In June of 1983, a fire blackened the interior of our building, forcing our crew to scramble in our efforts to open for the summer season. In 1984, the Pancake Room and Congdon’s Doughnuts joined forces under one roof consolidating the best for both places for your dining pleasures. In 2002, a drive-through was added as a means to service today’s fast paced lifestyles.
We added a food truck park named Congdon’s After Dark in 2017. The first year it was a dirt lot with 3 trucks and now it holds up to 10 food trucks with two bars, live entertainment, and 100+ picnic tables for a whole lot of family fun throughout the summer season. Thankfully the food truck park, being outside, held strong through the COVID pandemic and brought some normalcy to a very abnormal time.
During the pandemic Congdon’s closed our doors to inside guests to keep our staff safe. That set up lasted for two years. We reopened inside again during the Spring of 2022 with a new layout. With staffing being a huge issue in the country we decided to change our business system to a café style where guests would seat themselves after ordering at the counter. This change has been hard on some of our guest as our dining room menu and full service dining staff were beloved to many. As the café style will be around for the foreseeable future, we will try to add some of our favorite items back onto the menu when able.
As always, Congdon’s is a family restaurant and bakery where the quality in our products has our utmost devotion, constantly striving for the best in everything we offer. See you next time!