WEST PARIS — The story of the Hungry Hollow Country Store, the home-baked food store located on Route 26 and renowned for its pies, started off when Shirley and Robert Damm needed to market the apples from their orchard.

She brought apples, pears, plums and peaches to the store, and eventually added in plants, from perennials to herbs. All of that was missing was baked goods.

Shirley had never attempted baking on a large scale, but she took a stab at it and her creations took off. First she was baking breads, then cookies, bars, and apple-related items because of the orchard.

As the shop expanded, “the idea came in my head: chicken pies. My husband thought, that’s silly.”

She wanted to do some Down East cooking, and chicken pies were just the recipe.

“We’re sort of, you know, sort of old-fashioned. Just basic stuff,” Shirley said of her family.


“I always cooked from scratch for the most part,” she said, and her customers love her offerings.

One of Hungry Hollow’s favorites is chicken pie with broccoli. The chicken is in a sauce with Korean lemon and cheese and breadcrumbs, Shirley explained. Another favorite are the chocolate chip cookies.

People are attracted to Hungry Hollow because “… it’s good food. I make it from scratch. It’s natural organic products, organic bread, unbleached flowers, sea salt, no trans fat. It’s healthy,” said Shirley. “I try not to put too much sugar in them (the pies).”

Looking at her dishes, they are pleasing to the eye, an art of sorts. However, asked if there is an art to cooking, she says there “probably is, but I think most anybody could cook if they want to follow recipe(s) and get advice if they need it. I think everyone’s capable of doing it.”

In addition to the food, the store features a health supplement section filled with lotions, candles, vitamins and more.

Shirley believes there is a correlation between eating healthy and being healthy.

“Cut back, cut back!” she exclaims, regarding sugar.

“(People) actually feel better. I think some people  have said, you know, I feel better eating your food.”

Asked if it is true the one can tell if a dish is made with love, Shirley laughed and said, “Yes! Happy to say I guess maybe they see that.”

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