I love finding and sharing cool places with you guys so when one of the reps (and fellow foodie) I work with at my day job told me about one of her favorite Charlotte area haunts, I had a new mission.
To visit a place called “The Bradford Store“. For those, like me, who don’t know what The Bradford Store is, allow me to brighten your day a little. The Bradford Store is a charming little gem of a place located in Huntersville, NC that sells all sorts of fresh, organically grown produce, cheeses, meats, baked goods and all sorts of other yummy treats, most from local sources.
It’s also got a cool history. Built by William Bradford, the head of a large farmstead in the area, it served as the Lake Norman-North Charlotte area’s General Store and all around gathering place from 1912-1958, according to Kim Bradford, wife of William’s great-grandson, Grier. Kim, who is spunky, cool and a delight to chat with (she also gives great directions, since my GPS got me LOST on the way there). She shared a few tidbits about this super cool, historic site.
- The store was moved to it’s current spot. Yes, folks, I said moved. The store now sits about 300 feet from the road, but it used to sit a lot closer. Amazingly, 100 plus year old hand-cast concrete construction survived the move and now sits nestled among brightly colored zinnias, roses and huge butterfly and lantana bushes.
- After the store closed in the late 1950’s, it stayed empty for years. Kim and Grier were selling their organically grown produce at the Farmer’s Market and decided to try selling out of the old Store. They started with one table, selling fresh tomatoes and squash and they did so well, they decided to add more items.
- Most of the items for sale in the store are either grown by the Bradford family or come from local farmers and artisans, like The Goat Lady Dairy (one of the most amazing chevres I’ve ever tasted).
- You can pick your own flowers! You cut the flowers you want from the field beside the store and pay by the stem (on my visit, zinnias were twenty-five cents, sunflowers were fifty cents)
- There are two other buildings of note located on the store property. One is a a large barn, that houses a blacksmith and area where you can learn all about organic gardening and buy supplies to keep your garden green in more ways than one. The other is a small shop where you can peruse and purchase antiques.
- The petite kitty roaming around is Morticia. She may very well be the most obedient cat I’ve ever met. She is, however camera shy.
In addition to all the fun facts about The Store itself, I also scored a lovely tomato-basil cheddar and a Cajun cheddar cheese from Ashe, pepper crusted chevre’ from The Goat Lady Dairy, some gorgeous, organic purple potatoes, pink lentils, a little Sugar Baby watermelon (since mine are not ready yet) and some fresh, sweet, juicy figs! The selection of produce changes with the seasons so you can be sure to get the freshest goodies at any given time of the year. Right now, you can find a great selection of autumn offerings, including freshly pressed apple cider from NC Mountain Apples. Plus, for all you non-bakers out there, they also have a selection of locally made cakes and other baked yummies.
Tempted? You should be. Do yourself a favor and if you are in the Metro-Charlotte NC area, check out this local gem. I promise, you’ll be glad you did! Oh, and in case you missed the highlighted links above, here is their website: http://www.thebradfordstore.com/
If you still need convincing, here are some more photos I took during a visit back in August. Enjoy!
The Bradford Store is open:
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
15915 Davidson Concord Road
Huntersville, NC 28078 (My GPS got it wrong. Really wrong. If you get lost, give them a call at 704-439-4303 and one of the nice folks there will guide you in)
They accept all major credit and debit cards.
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know The Bradford Store. But to really enjoy this gem of a place, you really need to visit. You definitely want to bring a camera along so you can get some shots of your own. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to get Morticia to stay still long enough to get a picture.
Until next time. Have fun…and be Fearless!