Browse Guns, Buy a Wedding Dress, Grab a Six...at This Shop

It's "the best store I've ever been in," said a customer. You can browse guns while dress shopping.
It's "the best store I've ever been in," said a customer. You can browse guns while dress shopping.photo from racked.com

For casual passersby or tourists doing some window gazing out from the family SUV, the sign for Hussey’s General Store would give them pause, and maybe inspire a backtrack for a photo because of a placard advertising “Guns” “Wedding Gowns” and “Cold Beer,” in that order.

But for locals in the know, Hussey's is not only a great place to shop for that special day, but a pretty great spot to grab some ammo and fishing supplies too, if that's what you happen to need, according to this story from racked.com.

In fact, to get to the shop's bridal boutique, the story says, customers must walk past the gas pumps out front, the stock of bagged compost, and shelves of groceries and Maine-emblazoned souvenirs downstairs. "Upstairs, adjacent to the guns and the fishing supplies, is a dusky rose-colored alcove that (owner Kristen Ballantyne) will cordon off for two-hour bridal appointments (although walk-ins are always welcome)," the story says.

So how did this oddity come to be?

Way back in 1954, the Husseys decided they needed some more room to expand their store in the small town of Windsor, Maine. At about the same time, Ballantyne's great grandmother started selling women's clothes, including formalwear, the story says.

"There was no other place in Central Maine, really," she says.

The sign has remained the same since about the 1970s.
The sign has remained the same since about the 1970s.photo from racked.com

For some, Hussey’s is a landmark that must be returned to for important life moments.

“‘I traveled back to Windsor to get my dress because I wanted to get it from Hussey’s,’ says Nicole White, who lived in Boston when she got engaged. Everyone who wore dresses in her wedding — the bridesmaids, her mother, even the flower girl — was outfitted at Hussey’s. White’s fiancè, who was able to browse guns while she looked at gowns, declared Hussey’s ‘the best store I’ve ever been in.’ Last year, White also bought her Christmas tree at Hussey’s and drove it all the way back to DC.”

"I think sometimes people get caught up in the joke behind the sign, but it actually is a great place to get a dress," White said.

While it may look temporary, the story says the "Guns, Wedding Gowns, Cold Beer" sign has been there "more or less since the '70s—they tried to change the wording once, but there was an outcry."