Provincetown goes to the Nut House

by Mati Brown
Monday Jun 23, 2008

Kim Leonard is a small woman with close-cut blonde hair. For nine years, she has been the proprietor of the Nut House on Commercial Street. Despite it's name, you won't find mentally challenged people talking to themselves here, rather an array of treats and some real good organic coffee.

Leonard and her partner Rita make all the chocolate in store and recently expanded the shop when the place in front of it went out of business. They made that area into a bakery and folks can enter from the street to be tempted with all sorts of delicious things.

One of those is chocolate. Leonard explains that there are three kinds of chocolate tempers throughout the store to make milk, dark and white chocolate. The display case is full of glowing examples of her prowess at chocolatiering, but the thing she's really proud of is the nuts which they glaze in store. There are little cones in various colors full of the best selling in her store.

"We’re an institution in Provincetown. It’s a sweet job, I like the interaction with the customers."

When asked why she opened the Nut House, Leonard says she felt Provincetown needed it at the time and now "We're an institution in Provincetown," she adds. "It's a sweet job, I like the interaction with the customers."

In addition to the things made in store, the things they purchase are also homemade (albeit by others) such as their ice cream which comes from Toscanini's in Cambridge.

The shop is open for as much of the year as possible, although during the doldrums of winter, Leonard and her partner like to head down to Florida for a bit to see family. Leonard has been in Provincetown for 15 years and says her favorite part of P-town is the community. Rita adds, "It's like a show." Most of the people they hire to work in store are family and townies.

Leonard has been in the business for years (her family owned Rose's restaurant in Dennis) and when asked how long she plans to keep in business, she replies "til I can't play with my nuts anymore."

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