Tucked away in a corner of a Maine general store there was a museum devoted to an equally beloved and reviled local soft drink.
The Moxie Museum has been sold, and hopes to open soon as a bar. Whether or not a Moxie theme will stay with the historic building is up in the air, but in the meantime you can check out the Moxie Bottle House if you are in Union, at the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage.
While largely unknown to the world at large, most New Englanders are familiar with Moxie, a regionally produced soft drink which has generously been described as tasting “medicinal.” The small batch soda tends to inspire both vehement revulsion and exultant devotion in equal measure, but there is no question that Frank Anicetti, former owner and curator of the tiny Moxie Museum in Lisbon Falls, Maine falls on the latter end of the spectrum.
Located inside of Kennebec Fruit Co. general store, Anicetti’s small but proud collection includes what one must assume is the complete breadth of merchandise and artifacts bearing the Moxie logo. Among the items on display are old advertisements and signs, trophies, toys made from iconic orange Moxie cans, shot glasses, and thermometers just to name a few things. The museum also sells a nearly full line of clothing emblazoned with the Moxie logo from hats and socks to shirts and ties. Anicetti also makes a homemade Moxie ice cream using a closely guarded recipe.
However the real treasure of the Moxie Museum is Anicetti whose jolly enthusiasm and endless wealth of stories relating to his beloved soft drink are enough to make even the most fervent Moxie hater warm to the drink. He is more than willing to take the time to talk to visitors to his museum in that easy and disarmingly charming way that is seemingly gifted to lifelong New Englanders. In a way, Anicetti is as indicative of his region as Moxie is, although its doubtful that anyone could be found who doesn’t like him.
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