Anyone Else Remember How Magical a Trip to Cook’s Corner in Brunswick Was in the 90s and Early 00s?
The Go-To Spot
I grew up in Lincoln County and unless you’re heading to Rockland, Augusta, or Brunswick, there aren’t a ton of chain shopping options. Our go-to for school shopping or Walmart runs was to go to Brunswick.
Brunswick has changed a lot over the years. Especially since the Brunswick Naval Air Station shut down. The city was faced with a bit of an identity crisis but has done well to repurpose the base and stay strong.
The Cook's Corner Shopping Center has seen some massive changes over the years as well. As I think back, going there as a kid was always a fun day.
Sears was always a destination for school shopping especially after I became a pre-teen and teenager and started to care about what I wore. I still see the juniors section that I loved for my silly graphic t-shirts. It was on the right side of the store near the door that led to the rest of the mall. I even remember going there and finding a comforter on clearance as I was preparing to head to college.
Now I may not have the order of the stores correct but Sears is just where the day started.
Who can forget KB Toys?! Portland was not somewhere we visited often. The mall once in a while but that was it. Admittedly, I never stepped foot in a Toys R Us until I was an adult so KB Toys was where it was at.
I remember all the toys they had out that kids could play with to incentivize a mini-meltdown in hopes of getting mom or dad to buy the toy. I was lucky enough to get a few things from there now and again but I remember being just as happy to go in and see everything.
Walking down the strip there were of course various vendors. I’m pretty sure they had one of those carts with a guy that could write your name on a tiny grain of rice. I’m sure mine is packed away somewhere. If not the rice other fun jewelry and knickknacks.
Who can forget the old-school Bath and Body Works with the green and white checkered overhang. It wasn’t my jam back then but I can still smell the Sweet Pea and Vanilla from walking by.
Perhaps the highlight was further down the mall, Bookland. My favorite bookstore. There was just something about Bookland. It felt big but also warm. The kid's section was super fun with a little train set toy table and comfy places to sit. I remember looking at the American Girl books and awkwardly peeking at the one that explained puberty because I was most definitely clueless.
As I got older and into music FYE was a must-stop. I almost want to say it was something else before becoming FYE but at nearly 32 years of age, this brain is getting rusty. I loved looking at the posters, weird decor, and snarky keychains too. I’ll never forget going there with a high school friend and getting one that said, “I’d kill to have a body like yours…in my trunk,” and thinking it was the funniest thing.
The day would often end or at least have a break at the nearby Friendly’s where I’d get some mac and cheese and an ice cream. Another fond and distant memory considering my adult aversion to some dairy products. (And don't get me started on our other go-to lunch option, the Wendy's that used to be by Walmart. That salad bar was next level. Wendy's made a decent taco. At least that's what child Brittany said.)
Brunswick has changed a lot and Cook’s Corner too. The way we shop at all will never be the same. But I will always hold those memories of my trips to Brunswick with my Nana and my brother close in my heart.
What do you remember about shopping in that area back in the day? Let us know via the app!
Remember these stores at The Maine Mall?