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Sault restaurant displays more than 300 holiday nutcrackers

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While holiday decorations are the norm across many businesses this time of year – few show a love for one specific piece of decor like Absolutely Delicious, a restaurant on Queen Street in Sault Ste. Marie.

The exterior of Absolutely Delicious in Sault Ste. Marie on Dec. 10/23. (Cory Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario)From the outside the Absolutely Delicious seems like a normal restaurant – but once inside, holiday spirit takes over, with an enormous nutcracker decorations display throughout the eatery. From the window sills, to the fish tank, and the counter it is hard to miss the many unique holiday figurines.

"(We have) 309 at the moment, still collecting,” said owner Angelisa Mills.

“We only have 4 that are the same, a pair – two pairs."

Regular customers Doug and Amelia Kraushaar told CTV News that first-time patrons may be shocked to see so many nutcrackers in one place.

"I like the nutcrackers,” said Amelia.

“She has a good variety of them and they're amusing to see.”

The nutcrackers get displayed from mid-November and then taken down at the end of January each year.

Angelisa Mills talks with CTV News about her extensive collection of festive nutcracker figurines on display at her Sault restaurant. (Cory Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario)The decorating idea came from the owner, though Mills said she didn't plan on filling the business – at first.

"I brought about six of them in one time and set them here,” she said.

“The customers just loved it. If you know my personality, I fed off of that and have only been collecting them for five years."

Mills told CTV News that when she sees a nutcracker she has to confer with her staff to confirm it is not a duplicate and if they are not she usually makes the purchase.

Mills said she has had some help in collecting the nutcrackers.

"The other day a customer came in and she said 'I saw this nutcracker in a store and I couldn't leave it there because it belonged to you,'" she said.

“I have four grandchildren and my youngest is three years old. He will take a nutcracker off of somebody's tree because 'it belongs to grammy.'"

A Sault restaurant is decorated with nutcracker figurines for the last 5 holiday seasons – this year the display is up to 309 nutcrackers. (Cory Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario)Mills said that customers regularly offer to purchase their favourite nutcracker but she insists they are not for sale adding that when she does eventually retire she plans on donating the nutcrackers to a retirement home so other people can enjoy the many festive figurines for years to come.

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