Years ago there was a culinary tradition if you were in or around Perth you stopped in at a place called ‘Mrs Gee’s Homemade Egg Rolls’. There was no doubt that they made the best darn egg rolls in the world and were once a landmark in Perth. The egg rolls were always fried to perfection in a tidy neat wagon that was once located in the parking lot of Mac’s Milk on Wilson Street West.
The stand that was there years ago is gone, and as I am typing this I am trying to remember the taste and smell. The egg rolls were huge, slightly spicy, and filled with veggies. They came in two sizes: either regular or jumbo size. In fact Mary Gee once said two jumbos were perfect for a truck drivers lunch. You couldn’t leave without one of their homemade almond cookies and a cup of fresh brewed tea too. I also remember their factory produced fortune cookies which sold for a mere 7 cents each in the 70s.
Mrs Gee’s Egg Rolls was in such demand they decided to expand to Carleton Place in 1980 where it was was located on the Woolgrowers property. But 100 yards away troubled brewed when Sal’s Place complained about the new competition according to the newspaper archives.
The complaints made their way to the Carleton Place Town Hall that Mrs. Gee’s was located on industrial property and getting a free ride for a mere 75 bucks for a canteen license. Owner Sal Marinaz of Sal’s insisted to council that the mobile needed to move to another location.
Meanwhile bylaws were changing in Perth about whether or not the Gee’s egg roll emporium was either situated in a mobile or stationary wagon. Suddenly the health inspectors got involved and scratched their heads over the situation- as rules were different for either category. Herbert Gee was baffled by everything that was happening, and his final statement was: “that over 100,000 egg rolls had been served and no one had died”.
It was said after Mrs. Gee’s Egg Rolls closed people would peek in the door of Jameson’s Restaurant on Wilson Street West with trepidation. Some would inch their way by the “Largest Buffet in the County” and quietly ask about Mrs Gee’s egg rolls. But, the waitress knew what we were talking about, and they still made them with the original recipe, though only if people asked for them.
But now Jameson’s with the over 30 feet of hot and cold Daily Buffet is closed. The memories of Mrs. Gee’s Egg Rolls are now just one other thing from the past. Now Mrs. Gee’s Egg Rolls is just a memory of good friends, good food and good times.
Mrs. Gee’s had difficulties in Carleton Place
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 18 Jul 1980, Fri, Valley Edition, Page 3
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 08 Nov 1979, Thu, Final Edition, Page 43