Windsor

How about an order of General Brock for breakfast?

The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is a bakery and weekend breakfast place that operates out the McGregor-Cowan House, one of the oldest surviving buildings in Windsor.

Windsor Morning's Jonathan Pinto pays a visit to the Olde Towne Bake Shoppe in historic house

A look inside the Olde Towne Bake Shoppe

7 years ago
Duration 2:24
The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is a bakery and weekend breakfast place that operates in the McGregor-Cowan House, one of the oldest surviving buildings in Windsor.

The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is a bakery in Sandwich Town that also serves breakfast on weekends.

I drive and bike through Olde Sandwich Towne pretty regularly and I'm ashamed to say that I'd never really noticed this place, until I saw a friend praise their breakfast on Facebook. 

I'm always on the lookout for a good morning meal, so I dropped by a few weeks ago to give it a try. And went back again this week.

The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is located in the McGregor-Cowan House on Sandwich Street. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is located in the McGregor-Cowan House on Sandwich Street. It's one of the oldest buildings in Windsor — built around 1808. 

During the War of 1812, it's believed some prisoners were housed in the basement.

The McGregor-Cowan House was built around 1808. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

How did the McGregor-Cowan House become a bakery?

Over the past 200 years, the McGregor-Cowan House has been a fur trading post, a residence, and an antique shop.

Mary Ann Cuderman bought the building in 2001 as a place to live. The idea to open the bakery came later.

A visit to the Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is very much like visiting a grandmother's house. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

She describes the food as very basic, Canadian-style home cooking, with some English and French accents. During the week, Mary Ann single-handedly churns out baked goods and homemade meals from the house's tiny kitchen. 

On weekends, her family pitches in and helps serves breakfast. 

Each dish has a historic name.

The cinnamon raisin french toast, for example, is named the "South Shore," a reference to what this area was once called. The "General Brock" is Mary Ann's answer to eggs benedict, consisting of black forest ham, poached egg and cheese sauce on a halved croissant.

A sample of some of the historically-named breakfast offerings. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

When I visited for breakfast, I ordered "The 1812". 

It was made with boiled eggs, sliced and layered in a small casserole dish and topped with that creamy, made-from-scratch cheese sauce. On the side was a fantastic homemade sausage patty and a freshly baked English muffin.

Who visits the Olde Towne Shoppe?

Mary Ann tells me she has quite a diverse clientele. Take, for example, her popular date squares.

Date squares are one of the most popular items. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

They're wonderfully rich and buttery — and apparently, quite popular with people of Middle Eastern heritage, who are very familiar with dates.

Mary Ann's rum-spiked fruitcake is really popular with people of Indian origin. My mom grew up in India and confirmed to me that fruitcake is one of the more popular offerings in Indian bakeries.

And it's not just locals who are dropping by the Olde Towne Bake Shoppe — her customers come from all over Essex County. She even has regulars from across the border.

It's not the oldest restaurant in Windsor - but Jonathan Pinto's latest discovery is run out of one of this city's oldest buildings. He told us all about the Olde Towne Bake Shoppe.

The Olde Towne Bake Shoppe is located at 3118 Sandwich St. in Windsor and is cash only. It's open Wednesday - Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast is available on the weekends until 1:30 p.m.

If you want to order bread or meals to go, you'll have to give Mary Ann at least 24 hours notice. You can reach her at (519) 258-0361.

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