Tag Archives: as-good-as-new

The King Cafe Fire 1924

The King Cafe Fire 1924

 - The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Jan 1924, Mon  •  Page 7



This building was once a hardware store, then it was the tailoring business belonging to Mr. Shaw. After that it was a Chinese restaurant for a short period of time. Mel Newman also operated a grocery store at 31 Bridge Street.  Mel’s friend, Sam Ventura,  was the projectionist from the Star Theatre and lived upstairs and later married Ruby Ashfield. Then there was the disastrous fire of 1924.


I had noticed some evidence of fire damage in the attic space of my apartment and wondered if that is why a couple of rooms had lowered ceilings – to cover something up! It’s cool that there was originally a restaurant/confectionery in here, too. I had heard rumours that it was a rooming house. In the plans of the street from the turn of the century, it shows a carriage house at the back of the property, and you can see some of the old foundation from that in our parking area.

By the way, the As Good As New building was obviously built some time after this one – there are window wells in my side of the basement that are now blocked by that building.

My storefront was empty for about a year before I moved in. Before that, it was a lovely, lovely gift shop called ‘Country Lanes’. I can’t remember the owner’s name, but she had dried flowers, baskets, vintage-style cards, and she was one of the first people I knew to sell vintage-style Christmas ornaments before they became all the rage again. It was a beautiful and memorable store in Carleton Place for the 1990’s.

There was a tea room in here before that. When I moved in, I discovered a rudimentary kitchen with two double sinks behind the pharmacy shelving and the men’s and women’s bathrooms were already here – a bonus for me! There was blue-flowered wallpaper behind the shelving and pale blue rolled linoleum in the bathrooms and kitchen.

Petra Graber The Good Food Co.




If you look at the picture of this building,  Miss Mayhew’s and  Schwerdtfeger ‘s stores became ‘As Good As New’.  The man that looks like he is holding on to the hitching post is standing in front of what is now The Good Food Co.


Know your King’s Cafe– There was a King Cafe, chinese food restaurant where The Good Food Co. is now and The King’s Cafe which was part of the Queen’s Hotel.


In front of the Queen’s Hotel with the King’s Cafe- Photo- Tom Edwards July 12 1920– King’s Cafe was at the Queen’s Hotel





Reverend Schwerdtfeger Buried in the St. Lawrence Seaway

A Letter from a Local Student Nurse 1930s

Before the Schwerdtfeger Sisters – There was Aunt Sophia

So was there Money Hidden in the Schwerdtfeger House?

The Schwerdtfegerisms of Tobacco and Gambling

Bertha Schwerdtfeger — Mother of the Carleton Place Schwerdtfeger Sisters

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 2- Milano Pizza to Milady Dress Shop

Related reading:

Margaret Love -From Sweet to Sour

Before and After in Carleton Place — Mac Williams and The Good Food Co

A Burrito for All Seasons– Good Food Company

More Stories of the Schwerdtfeger Sisters

My Love for the Easy Bake Oven — As Good As New!


For the Facebook Group:

Today I saw an Easy Bake Oven for sale at As Good as New Thrift Shop and memories began to flood my mind. When I got home I started reading some great nostalgic stories about them so I thought I would post one here.

My Love for the Easy Bake Oven by Josie


I love to cook, although I’ll never be confused with Wolfgang Puck. I’m lucky if I’m even mentioned in the same breath as Chef Boyardee. When I was little, however, things were very different. I was the master of the light-bulb lemon cookie, the queen of the wattage waffle, the princess of Edison edibles.
I was an Easy Bake wunderkind.

I can’t remember my exact age, maybe six or seven, but I remember the day like it was yesterday. My birthday was once again upon us. Why oh why did it take so long to get here? Oh well, I’d have to save that question for tomorrow, when the countdown started again. For now it was here, and I had only one request – an Easy Bake Oven!

My cousin Lisa had received one a few months prior on her birthday, and we had so much fun when I had visited her that summer. I swear Dad had gained about ten pounds from all the cakes and cookies we were shoving his way. Come to think of it, Dad looked exactly the same as when we had arrived. The dog seemed a bit lethargic and a little rounder in the middle when we drove away though. I wonder if there is a connection?

Anyways, I could see the box on the table, and I knew it was the right size to be my little light powered kitchen accessory. But I had to wait until that evening – after dinner – to open my presents. Guests? Who cares about GUESTS!?! I want my OVEN!

I had a plan.

Mom went outside for some reason. I was convinced she’d be gone for hours. Plenty of time to initiate my plan!

I figured I’d just peek a little, tear back the tape and read the box. I of course wanted to make sure I allowed myself enough time to practice my fake surprise…or worse…suppress my true emotions were it *gasp* NOT an Easy Bake Oven.

My little hands shook with anticipation as I gripped the end of the tape. Easy..easy…easy bake here I come…SLAM!!!

The kitchen door flew open, my hand jerked from the shock, and RIIIIIIP. The entire side of the present tore open in one thunderous roar.

“What are you DOING?” yelled Mom, back in record time from her expedition.

I considered pretending I didn’t actually see the oven, or try and pretend that it was all a terrible accident, but who really cared. I saw the Easy Bake Oven label, as big and bright as I had dreamed!

The damage was done. What was Mom to do?

That night the guests arrived. Grandma, Grandpa, and my friend down the street.

For dessert everyone had a slice of Easy Bake Cake.

There are so many interesting things that arrived at the store. Great fashion, housewares, decorations and everything you can imagine. Come visit soon! BIG SALE COMING!!

Spring is here and the bag sale is coming!! As Good As New Bag Sale ALL WEEK starting Saturday March 14 to Saturday, March 21st! Come early to get the best stuff! 33 Bridge Street in Carleton Place!

'Spring is here and the bagsale is coming!! As Good As New Bag Sale ALL WEEK starting Saturday March 14 to Saturday, March 21st! Come early to get the best stuff! 33 Bridge Street in Carleton Place!'

I Want Them to Bite into a Cookie and Think of Me and Smile


Today I am the proud owner of a Lanark County Interval House Cookbook that is available at the As Good As New Thrift Shop on Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario. Why should I buy a cookbook when I can easily get recipes on the internet these days? To quote the cover of this delicious book, “it would not only be to honour the women of our past and present but also to ensure success in our future.”

I knew when I bought this cookbook that some congenial person had already tried and liked the recipes and it was something I could pass down to my daughters-in-laws along with a good story of days gone by. Let’s face it if the internet had intended us to follow their recipes, what would happen to grandmothers. Most importantly it raises money for Lanark County Interval House which offers shelter and support services to women and their children threatened by abuse and gender-based violence.

Janet Younghusband, volunteer at As Good As New in Carleton Place,ON.

A Cooking Story

As a child, my grandmother used to tell me all sorts of stories about the depression. Each morning she would make sandwiches for hungry people knocking on her door and her weathered screened veranda became a shelter for homeless people at night. Grammy would also take in needy families until they got on their feet. My grandfather once said that he just never knew who would be sitting across from him nightly at the dinner table.

One day she hired a homeless woman name Gladys who worked for her until she died. I was barely six years old when she passed, but I still remember her like yesterday. Gladys was an odd looking woman who tried to hide her chain smoking habit from my grandmother. She would talk up a storm while she worked with a vocabulary that young ears should have never heard.

Gladys ended up dying in her sleep in ‘the back room’ as it was called. After she died, my grandmother promptly labeled it ‘Gladys’s room’. When I was older and came home on weekends, that very room was where I slept. You have no idea how many times I thought I saw Gladys in the dark shadows scurrying around with her feather duster, and yes, still chain smoking. The room was always really cold, even in the summer, and it smelled oddly of apple crisp.

You see, Gladys could make anything out of everything. My grandmother was an apple hoarder for some reason, and always had a huge wooden barrel of apples in the shed. The top part of the bin held apples that were crisp and fresh, but, if you ventured to the bottom looking for a better apple, it was nothing but decaying fruit.

So when Gladys made apple crisp she insisted on using the older apples, and worked her magic with them. Some how the odd cigarette ashes found in that crisp gave it that “je ne sais quoi” in added flavour. So as Martha Stewart might suggest alternatives I will personally add that cigarette ashes are optional and any of my apple recipes are not endorsed by the Surgeon General.

In honour of Gladys and my grandmother I will include an apple recipe from the Lanark County Interval House Cookbook and just remember it is a great gift to give or keep for yourself, as memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.

Apple Cake with Buttermilk Sauce by Barbara Ackerman friend of LCIH
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground Tone’s® Ground Cinnamon
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups chopped apple
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, oil, vanilla and orange juice. On low speed, blend in flour mixture. Fold in apple, walnuts and coconut. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 hours or until the cake tests done. Invert cake onto a large plate or platter. Deeply puncture the top of the warm cake with a skewer or pick.

In a small saucepan, bring all sauce ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently. Immediately spoon 1-1/4 cups of sauce slowly over the top of the cake, then pour the remainder down the sides.

Lanark County Interval House opened in 1979 when it became apparent that even rural women were being assaulted by their husbands. They thought at first they could solve the problem in 10 years and naively wondered if all they had to do was tell people and it would stop. They came to learn how pervasive this violence was and still is.

As Good As New Thrift Shop Blog Series:

I Wear Your Grandma’s Clothes — The Thrill of the Thrift Shop

As Good As New

33 Bridge Street, Carleton Place Ontario, K7C 2V2
Phone: 613-257-7074

As Good as New Facebook page

Thrift Store Shopping — Vintage Personal Thoughts


Thrift Store Shopping — Vintage Personal Thoughts

If you look up Thrift Shop in Wikipedia you will get the history of a “charity shop”, as that is what they were first called in 1899 in the UK. During the Second World War the charity shop became widespread and The Red Cross opened up it’s first charity shop at 17 Old Bond Street, London in 1941. For the duration of the war, over two hundred “permanent” Red Cross gift shops and about 150 temporary Red Cross shops were opened. The entire proceeds from sales had to be passed to the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross or the St John Fund. Most premises were lent free of rent and in some cases owners also met the costs of heating and lighting.

I don’t think I recall my Grandmother mentioning a thrift shop when I grew up and people used to wait for local church rummage sales to get cheaper clothing for their family. The first time I heard a thrift store mentioned was in the late 60’s when I was working as a designer/seamstress for Le Chateau in Montreal. All the cool people that wore the high-waisted gabardine pants and shag haircuts raved about the Salvation Army Thrift Store that was in an old stone building in Old Montreal. The first time I went there I was mesmerized by everything in it. After that, I began to add trips to army surplus stores for things that coordinated with my thrift store finds.
In the 70’s thrifting began to evolve and some of the cool stores I went to in NYC like Reminiscence on MacDougal Street mixed, surplus and vintage together to create unique fashion. There was such an upsurge in the vintage fashion trends that Caterine Milinaire and  Carol Troy  came out with the great book called Cheap Chic in 1975.

When I opened my store Flash Cadilac in 1974, there was very few thrifts stores in Ottawa except for Salvation Army, Ste. Vincent de Paul and Neighbourhood Services. Vintage fashion stores included: “Yes We Have No Bananas” on Elgin Street, Paddlin Maddlin’s, and my friend Catherine Landry’s shop’s “Ragtime” which evolved into her kitschy store “Pennies From Heaven.”

The quest for good vintage finds in Canada were sparse and I used to go to Flushing NY and buy 500 pound bales of silks. Needless to say Canadian customs would make us cut the compressed clothing bale open and I don’t think I have to tell you what a 500 compressed clothing bale looks like when it’s free. Many station wagon trips were made from Ogdensburg to Ottawa– but it was worth its weight in gold.

Times have changed and charity chains like Goodwill now have pickers and you can seldom find anything worthwhile, as the best is sold online. They hire staff to go through books with UPC scanners to pick out all the valuables in media and vintage clothing pickers go through the clothing. On Thursday mornings at most of the Salvation Armys in the Bay area flea marketers line up with their trucks to buy better value items never seen by the common customer.

There are very few thrift shops left that are as special as As Good As New, as thrift stores are generally owned by a charity but run as an independent business under contract. Licensed by the charity, which provides the merchandise for sale, and benefits by the sale of these goods directly to the contractor who operates the shop. The shop may then make a profit from this arrangement. In some cases, the American thrift shop chain ‘Savers’  (‘Value Village’ in Canada) pay a small percentage of the profit to the charity.

Our beloved Good As New Thrift store has been located at 33 Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario for over 30 years. Interval House initially sought donations from the community to meet the clothing needs for women and children who were seeking refuge at the shelter. This effort inevitably initiated the As Good As New store in 1980, a volunteer-run second-hand clothing boutique that also provides funds to operate the shelter.

For years, the store has resold quality fashion donations to the community and provided abused women and their children with clothing for free. Since its move to Bridge Street in 1981, the As Good As New store has undergone many changes. In the spring of 2005, the store underwent a complete overhaul: walls were torn down, and the old hardwood floors and tin ceilings were restored.

Today, the As Good As New store remains one of Interval House’s most successful fundraising efforts, largely due to the incredible generosity, compassion, and hard work of its volunteers. In this past fiscal year alone, volunteers have already contributed more than 4170 hours of their time and energy to smoothly running the store. The store operations are still overseen by a volunteer committee who together contribute an additional 100 hours of their time.

Personally I changed my shopping habits for fun frugal fashion a few years ago. I now support the thrift shops that don’t sell online, that don’t pick over their stuff, offer good value, and their charity alone profits from it. After all it is not the duration– it’s the donation. Open your hearts and your cupboard this holiday season as it’s a win win situation for everyone.

Thanks to Kerry for reminding me of Neighbourhood Services.

       Don’t Forget!! Come see the Thursday night specials!!

As Good As New Thrift Store

33 Bridge Street, Carleton Place Ontario, K7C 2V2
Phone: 613-257-7074

Thrift Store Shopping — 50 Shades of Tupperware – Zoomer



Thrift Store Shopping — 50 Shades of Tupperware – Zoomer.

Thrift Store Shopping — Did Your Clothes Survive the Disco Inferno? – Zoomer



Thrift Store Shopping — Did Your Clothes Survive the Disco Inferno? – Zoomer.

Thrift Store Shopping — These Shoes Are Made for Walking – Zoomer



Thrift Store Shopping — These Shoes Are Made for Walking – Zoomer.