BANGOR — Celebrate the Season of Giving on Dec. 21 as the Kev-Lan Korner Café and Bakery honors the late Judson “Bud” Grant, a noted Bangor businessman who “absolutely loved Christmas,” said his daughter, Cheryl Noyes.
Born in 1927, Grant grew up in Bangor and launched his successful business career by selling his father’s eggs and produce in the late 1930s, according to Noyes. An Army veteran who served in Europe from 1945 to 1947, Grant returned to Bangor and started such businesses as Birch Hill Estates, Broadway Furniture, Grant’s Trailer Sales, and the Queen City Trailer Park in Bangor and the Wilson Square Mall in Brewer.
Grant died on Dec. 18, 2010, when he was 83.
Most people only “knew my father from his business dealings,” but “there was another side to him,” Noyes said. Grant viewed Christmas as “a chance for him to give back to people. He did a lot of things for people at Christmas.”
She remembered that when she was young, Grant “would pack the [car’s] trunk full of fruit boxes and food boxes” and deliver them to many people, particularly the elderly. Later, after establishing Kev-Lan in December 1991, “every year [at Christmas] he would give spiral hams to our customers, business associates, friends,” Noyes recalled. “He didn’t make a big deal out of it.”
One Christmas season during the 1960s, Noyes worked at Eastern Maine General Hospital with a single mother who had three young children; she had only a few presents for them. When Noyes mentioned the situation to her father, “we wrapped gifts, packed them in the back of the truck, and drove to Orrington in an awful snowstorm to deliver them,” she said.
Years later that mother caught up with Noyes and told her, “You’ll never know what that did for my family.”
In recognition of Bud Grant’s love of Christmas and to commemorate the first anniversary of his death, Kev-Lan will Celebrate the Season of Giving from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21. Located at 1110 Broadway (corner of Broadway and Griffin Road), Kev-Lan invites their loyal patrons to enjoy “trays of Christmas goodies” and share their memories of Grant, Noyes indicated.
She and her sister, Gale Longo, will be present at the restaurant. “If he was here right now, he wouldn’t want us to be doing this to honor him,” Noyes said. “He would tell us that Christmas was a time to give back to the community and is not about the individual. He would have me ordering tons of stuff [to give away.]”
“He loved the Christmas decorations. He loved listening to the Christmas music,” Noyes said. “He loved having people around. It didn’t make any difference if he were sitting in the restaurant [while] in the middle of a business deal: He would invite a friend, ‘Come over and sit down!’”