Reminisces from Josh Josephson original co-founder of The Cookbook Store and present owner.
I am an unabashed lover of cook books as is Barbara Caffery. My partner in starting in The Cookbook Store back, way back in 1983.
The Cookbook Store began because there was an opportunity for Barbara and I to take over from the existing "Books For Cooks", which was struggling. I loved the idea of establishing a wonderful store that would be a major resource for cook books. Barbara simply loved the idea of being in the book business and cook books added a note of excitement for her, as well as fueling her passion for baking.
Once we had committed ourselves to the idea, Barbara became seriously involved, first looking to hire someone to operate the store day to day. She discovered Alison Fryer and was delighted to be working with Alison. Right from the beginning they were always on the same page. I remember the early excitement in our planning the design and the colours of the store, especially the lengthy time choosing the "Cookbook Store red". And the logo of the chef's hat sitting on top of books which I came up with on a dinner table no less! We still use an updated version of the logo to this day.
In the early years, I was busy traveling extensively because of my work in the eye care field, and then busy with patients when I was in Toronto at our practice, so at the start I was giving financial support and encouragement. In the beginning Barbara and Alison did all the work of running the store and coming up with ideas for events and promotions. On one of the few free days she had from her practice Barbara would put in a full day Saturday, at the store, where she loved engaging with customers and talking about food, cooking and books.
Those early days were exciting times, especially when we had the chance to enjoy the company of many emerging special chefs and authors, such as Martha Stewart, Gordon Ramsay, Jacques Pepin and our times with the icon, Julia Child.
Now we entertain international superstars such as Rene Redzepi, Feran Adria and Thomas Keller but we always remember those early days and never forget those who made it all possible.