HARPSWELL — Marty’s Munchies, a food stand that has been at 12 Old Bath Road in Brunswick for the past two years, will soon be moving to Harpswell.
The new location is 1410 Harpswell Neck Road, on a plot of town-owned land near the entrance to Mitchell Field and next door to Pammy’s Ice Cream, which opened there last month.
Owner Marty Toothaker, a Harpswell native, said he decided to move the business to his hometown because the location off Route 1 was “a little off the beaten path.”
“I appreciate everyone that has come, they came for the taste of the food and the prices are reasonable,” he said. “A lot of my business was due to that.”
The Brunswick store will literally move to its new location: Toothaker plans to have the Marty’s shed towed to Harpswell sometime in the next two weeks. He said he has received all necessary permissions from the town.
He also said his original hope was to have the new location opened by Memorial Day Weekend, but now he hopes it will be in service by the second week of June.
Toothaker, a commercial fisherman since 1982, decided to leave the fishing industry and open his own eatery roughly three years ago.
“(It was) time to get done fishing, I ain’t that young anymore, it’s a lot of work,” he said. “I went this winter (and it was) tougher than usual. I don’t like being away from home anymore; I’ve been offshore for (over) 30 years.”
Working as a fisherman, however, is when he first began cooking, as he said he “usually got stuck” with the task while at sea.
Marty’s Munchies isn’t Toothaker’s first foray into owning a food joint, though; he also briefly owned a food stand called Marty’s Route One Eats in Wiscasset in 2015 before opening the Brunswick stand.
A few months after opening Marty’s in 2016, Toothaker also bought an ice cream shed, the former Tiffin’s Ice Cream on Bailey Island, in the hopes of opening an ice cream shop alongside Marty’s.
In the end, the additional endeavor didn’t pan out, and he’s now hoping to sell the ice cream shed before moving Marty’s.
“I can’t even begin to run both places,” he said.
And, while the Harpswell location will be new, Marty’s will serve the same food customers enjoyed in Brunswick, such as chicken fingers, fries and burgers, as well as locally-sourced hot dogs from Maine Family Farms.
Patrons can also relax and enjoy their meal at the same outdoor picnic tables.
Toothaker is especially fond of one burger he serves, known as the “Marty’s Munchies Burger,” which is a one-third-pound beef patty and a one-third-pound pork patty, topped with onion rings, barbecue sauce, mayo, tomatoes, ketchup, and “whatever” else the customer wants.
Marty’s also offers pastrami or steak and cheese subs, and lobster and crab meat rolls, as well as a fried haddock sandwich, which Toothaker said he puts his own special twist on.
Instead of using tartar sauce to top the fried haddock with, he uses dill Havarti cheese. The recipe, he said, once converted his friend who had never tried fish before.
“I made that sandwich three years ago at a campground, and a friend of mine that had never eaten fish before – he was 60-something years old – (liked it),” he said.
For now, Toothaker is the only employee and does all of the cooking himself, but said he would consider hiring someone else to help, noting having an employee at such a small business is a “big trust thing.”
Looking ahead he thinks moving the food stand will be a good thing for Harpswell, due to the fact that “there’s not much” in that area of town for quick food options.
He’s not too worried about losing customers from Brunswick either, as some have pledged their allegiance to Marty’s regardless of its location. Toothaker also noted “it’s a nice ride” to Harpswell for people coming from Brunswick.
“I think it will be alright,” he said. “(I’ll) get the french fry smell in the air and we’ll see what goes on from there.”
Marty’s Munchies, a food stand now at 12 Old Bath Road in Brunswick, will move to Harpswell in June, becoming the second business to open on a previously vacant plot of town-owned land near Mitchell Field.