Wednesday, April 18, 2012



By Doc Lawrence

Miss Jan Welcomes Hungry Food Writers

TALLAHASSEE, FL- Jan Bradley Parker keeps the wheels running on her family’s internationally renowned store on Centerville Road about 12 miles from Florida’s capital city. Spectacular Live Oaks are waiting for a Hollywood movie. The smokehouse is fully operational. The grits are ground on-premises from premium corn and the store counters are filled with rare Deep South delights like Tupelo honey, Mayhaw jelly and homemade hot pepper sauce that adds some heat to those turnip and collard greens.

Bradley’s Country Store is pure Americana with a Southern accent. The current affection for farm to table and local grown-too often a contrived marketing slogan that falls flat to a Southerner-has been the norm here for about a hundred years. Bradley’s isn’t threatened by supermarkets; it’s thriving. Shipping out 150,000 pounds of smoked sausage annually along with gourmet grits to customers including Art Smith’s Chicago restaurant and the Seminole Tribe of Florida says loads about reputation and quality.

“Miss Jan,” as friends and customers call her, is a sophisticated lady educated at Decatur, Georgia’s Agnes Scott College. She has the best of all worlds. The natural beauty of the bucolic countryside, loyal customers, rave media reviews and family tradition. What are the spices used in Bradley’s sausage? “It’s a secret we’ve kept for almost a century,” she replied with laughter. It would be easier to obtain the formula for Coca-Cola.

Bradley’s Country Store is a meeting place. Come often enough and you’ll run into football coaching legend Bobby Bowden. Hollywood superstars, Hall of Fame athletes, world-famous celebrity chefs, authors, symphony conductors, major league baseball players and hungry journalists make the journey to this little store to take home some of America’s finest fresh food.

Enjoy some genuine grits and homemade sausage.  Everything at Bradley’s is made with a lotta love according to Miss Jan.

This is the week we remember the Titanic tragedy. “The Last Dinner on the Titanic” is a very interesting remembrance of the menu courses, wines, dancing and music of that final gathering.

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