The Peppermint Parlor snack bar and gift shop at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an open house and a week of activities. The open house event - open to all - will be at 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16. The shop is located just inside the main entrance at the hospital, 418 North Main St., Penn Yan.
On Oct. 15, 1967, a special open house marked the opening of the Peppermint Parlor. The results of more than four years of fund-raising became reality with the opening of the shop by the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. The Auxiliary remains the operator of the shop today.
A committee of eight women, headed by Dorothy Shay, and composed of Evelyn Welker, Dorothy Weldon, Dorothea Horton, Frances Hinson, Agnes Spike, Ruth Amish, and Alta Beamish, then hospital dietitian, was formed to help plan the layout and design of the area, as well as the decoration. The original manager of the shop was Phyllis Alderman, who remains a member of the Auxiliary today, as well as a member of the 50th anniversary celebration committee.
The name of the shop came from the pink/coral and white striped wallpaper on the walls - similar to the colors of the candy striper uniforms of that day.
Funds totaling $8,000 were raised by two volunteer organizations in existence at the time: the Twigs and the Women’s Committee, to support remodeling and decoration of the shop. The two organizations merged to form the Soldiers & Sailors Women’s Auxiliary, now called the Soldiers & Sailors Auxiliary.
The shop was relocated from its original location on the first floor of the hospital, near the original hospital entrance, to the hospital’s current entrance off North Avenue, during a renovation project that concluded in early 2010.
The open house on Oct. 16 will kick off a week of specials and activities at the shop including: 50 cent coffee and tea, 50 cent Peppermint Patties, 50 cent cookies, 50 cent Peppermint ice cream, a free guessing contest, 50 cent chances on a gift basket, and more. A Memory Book is available in the Parlor for anyone interested to write a special remembrance of the operation over the years.
Regular shop hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.