Friday, October 8, 2010

The Parrot - Talks for Itself

When I went searching for old paper over a year ago this past January, The Parrot Confectionery was one of the first places I stopped. Brian and Kelly Ackerman had purchased the business from the Duensing family, and were in the process of learning what they needed to know about the chocolate business. I inquired about old letterhead or billhead, but was discouraged to hear that the Duensings had no letterhead, and the billhead was destroyed to eliminate information such as credit card numbers to protect the privacy of their customers. The business itself is one of only two businesses on Last Chance Gulch here in downtown Helena that are still in operation in the same location since 1922.

Walking into this candy store is like walking back in time. There is a Wurlitzer juke box, booths and a real soda fountain. They make all of their own chocolate and it is all displayed in five foot high glass cases.

During my first brief visit with Brian I offered to design a piece of vintage letterhead that they could use for special occasions in exchange for several of them that I could put my art work on.
Brian agreed to look at whatever I came up with, and he finally settled on the lettering that you see on their web site. I did not do the parrot, but the design outfit that created their logo did, since the one that I had done was not in color.

In going through the old papers in the office, Brian discovered several pieces of old billhead from the fountain, and he gave them to me. This is the last piece that I have, as the other two have since gone to new homes.


  1. Being 7 and 8 at the time, wouldn't it have been fun for us to walk into the Parrot in April '56? Sounds like a little piece of heaven. Your colored parrot is beautiful, Dave, and the way you pursue your craft and paper admirable. Nice work.

  2. Never heard of these guys...probably because I'm a kiwi. BUT, I love sweets! Where are the sweets, Dave? I only see numbers...yummy to some, but I need sweets!!!

  3. PS. the bird is BEAUTIFUL. But I still need sweets.

  4. That is so cool! Your work is wonderful - so very unique. The Parrot sounds like a place I would love to have visited!! The older I get, the bigger my sweet tooth. Some other foods seem to taste so much different anymore, but sweets are getting better and better. Carol

  5. Ah, well--I shall comment on this amazing piece. Thank you so much for following along on PFF. You are just so much fun.

    I love your artwork--you are just amazing. And inspiring. Not to mention unique. I've never seen anything like what you do.

    Have a great PFF!