Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bradshaws: Stratford's Source for Dining in Style (for 115 years!)

Way back in 1895, a fellow named J.L. Bradshaw decided to bring a little style to the kitchens and dining rooms of Stratford. To fulfill this goal, he embarked on frequent boat trips to England, and returned with loads of china, crystal and other classy UK imports. Bradshaws became the place to go for the finest quality house and dinnerware - I'm sure many precious heirlooms passed along within Stratford families to this day originated from J.L.'s store!
One hundred and fifteen years later, Bradshaws continues to bring style to the dining rooms and kitchens of Stratford. The owners today, Carrie and Jeremy Wreford (pictured above), decided to mark the occasion of the store's 115th anniversary with a spring birthday open house that no Stratford food fan would want to miss!

Warning - the following picture is not of a teapot:
It's actually a cake!

Bradshaws sells only the best of everything, from wine glasses to cookware to specialty gourmet products and condiments. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, then, when I learned that the teapot, pepper grinder and knife I was looking at near the front of the store were, in fact, the most incredible birthday cakes I've ever seen! As I was admiring (and eating) the frighteningly realistic cake renditions of some of Bradshaws' most popular products, I learned that the Wreford family has owned the store since 1975, with Carrie and Jeremy taking over in 2006. As Carrie cut more dupli-cake for Bradshaws' loyal customers, I asked Jeremy about Stratford's growing reputation as a landmark on the Canadian culinary scene, which he confirmed, "Stratford's really come into its own as a gourmet town."
I browsed the aisles of the beautiful store, and everywhere I looked I saw something special, from the highest-quality knives (I have a bit of a fetish for super-sharp chef's blades), to fine crystal, to cappuccino machines, to creative dinner party paraphernalia that's sure-to-impress any guest. I know I was impressed when I was presented in the kitchen section with an appetizer spoon containing a zesty pasta salad with julienne carrots, roasted red pepper, goats cheese, and featuring an Apple Cider and Garlic Vinaigrette produced by The Garlic Box in nearby Hensall. I was further impressed by the fluffy baked goat's cheese sample I tried - in fact, I bought one of the Petite Maison goats cheese baking sets being showcased (see picture above)! Even better, my purchase qualified me for a free gift of a handy little cutting board!

Stratford has indeed come into its own as a gourmet community, thanks in part to the style bestowed upon us over the past century-plus from J.L. Bradshaw and the Wreford family! Happy Birthday Bradshaws!

1 comment:

  1. I agree. We always shop at Bradshaws when go on our yearly trip to Stratford. You can find unique gifts for friends -- and for yourself!! The staff are amazing and very helpful.