Hand-crafted, Tasteful Food and Gifts Offer a Nod to the Past at Millbrook Mercantile

Photo Karen Graham. Next month these shelves will be full of carefully selected merchandise by Millbrook Mercantile owners, Lance Nachoff and Bernadette MacNeil, who are eager to launch their new business. The storefront has been carefully renovated to preserve its historic charm with original shelving and restored light fixtures from the formed GE building in Peterborough. The product offering also reflects a respect for the past, featuring handcrafted food and gift items, fresh local produce, bake goods, and a selection of prepared dishes for takeout.

The wait continues for the much-anticipated opening of the new business in the former antique shop called Millbrook Mercantile, now scheduled for September.  Owners Bernadette MacNeil and Lance Nachoff are feeling it, too, but they’ve been waiting even longer.

The dream of opening a business in the food industry has been a percolating for this local couple for almost ten years.  Bernadette and Lance met many years ago while working in a high-end Toronto restaurant in Yorkville, and since moving to the area Bernadette has been instrumental in the success of several Peterborough restaurants.  Both have been looking forward to using their talents in a business of their own.  Understanding the demands of such a venture, the couple waited until the time was right.  Now that the demands of family are firmly in the past, the couple leapt on the opportunity to lease the charming venue at 28 King St. East, which provides the perfect backdrop for their vision.

The focus of all products offered will be quality.  Millbrook Mercantile will be a destination for shoppers looking to indulge themselves or their loved ones with products that have been carefully crafted by local artisans and high-end manufacturers.

The rear section of the store will feature food items, including cheese, charcuterie, bread from South Pond Farm, and croissants from a Lindsay bake shop.  Some prepared dishes for take-out will also be available including fresh sandwiches and some frozen soups and pizzas.  Fresh local produce from Puddleduck Farm and Circle Organic will be on hand, as well as small batches of homemade dishes featuring local, seasonal fare that will satisfy the most discerning palate.  Party hosts can bring their own boards and platters to be dressed with goodies for their guests.  For special gifts, shoppers can build a basket of products of their own selection to create personalized gifts with a mix of food and gift items that best suit their recipient.

The gorgeous shelving and displays in the front of the store will feature high end gift ware with products that represent some of Bernadette’s favourite items.  Shoppers will recognize a few product lines from neighbouring shop Bear Essentials as its owners Bonnie and Ian McQuarrie close their doors for a well-earned retirement.  Among the products moving a few doors east are Lampe Bergere, greeting cards, decorative pillows and throws and some fine quality kitchen linens.   Selected kitchen pieces from Le Creuset will also adorn the shelves.

Bernadette has sourced some personal good for the shop including handcrafted wellness products such as creams, tinctures and deodorants from Sweet Song, soaps from Northumberland Soapworks and small jewellery pieces and some local pottery.

Once established, the owners hope to branch out into catering, and eventually provide fresh seafood which customers can pre-order to ensure they are not disappointed.

When the doors open, Bernadette will be front and centre while Lance will offer a supporting role behind the scenes while continuing his employment at Nexicom.

After mulling things over for almost a decade, this couple have fine-tuned their vision for their business. Offering carefully selected product lines that embrace a respect for the past and acknowledgement of modern tastes, Millbrook Mercantile will offer traditional, hand-crafted products which the owners hope will be well-received by an audience with a growing appreciation for quality, craftsmanship and tradition.   KG


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