October 31, 2007

Bradley's Country Store

Bradley's Country Store is another stop off the path of the Walk but definitely on the Chiles Trail and a hearty meal for the weary traveler. They're known for two things mostly--sausage and grits. Bradley's Country Fun Day, a festival held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is coming up soon.

Just keep driving east on Centerville Road in Tallahassee. When the Spanish mossed oaks start to canopy over the highway, you're getting close. Centerville Road becomes Moccasin Gap Road. Eventually you'll see a big open field on your right and a large pond on your left. Bradley Road forms a T-intersection with Moccasin Gap, and on the right, since 1927, is Bradley's Country Store.

In the back you'll find memorabilia from dignitaries you'd expect to visit and some surprises--Bill Clinton, Lawton Chiles, etc. Gov. Chiles knew Bradley's well.

On New Year's Even in 1993, Gov. Chiles visited the Store to buy some of the its famous course-ground grits. While there, he started gabbing with Frank and Lillian Bradley, then owners of the establishment. They said the would have to stop to making grits because their 75-year-old grist mill didn't meet modern regs. Gov. Chiles grabbed Frank for an impromptu inspection of the mill in the rain.

At the next Cabinet meeting, Chiles talked to Secretary of Agriculture Bob Crawford. The next week health inspectors visited to Bradley's Store to make sure it got the necessary fixes for compliance. Janet Bradley Fryzel, who ran the store at the time, remembered him when she heard of his passing in 1998. "There were no pretensions about him. He was just a real person who didn't try to be something other than what he was. He was just Lawton Chiles, who happened to be governor."



Ensley, Gerald. “Tallahassee mourns its neighbor.” Tallahassee Democrat. December 17,


No comments: