From the outset, “The Ladies of the Best of Bridge,” as they like to be known, had an unconventional vision of how their business would be run. It would be a partnership of equals, a celebration of friendship and perhaps most of all it would be fun. The bank manager who approved their first loan warned them they would never stay friends. They vowed to prove him wrong.
More than 40 years and 4 million copies later, the Ladies are enjoying the last laugh. In addition to creating a phenomenally successful business, they have remained close friends with fond memories of all the good times they’ve shared. “We had a lot of fun,” they say now. “And the media loved us because we were just regular mothers who showed up wearing our matching aprons. Sometimes people seemed astonished that the recipes actually worked, which amazed us because we knew what we were doing.”
Not surprisingly, from time to time, life intervened to rock their idyll. “Like a large family, we’ve experienced everything, from divorce, major illnesses and deaths,” they comment. Not only have they lost parents, husbands and children, four of the partners are deceased.
But the brand lives on not only in kitchens, but also in the hearts and minds of Canadians from coast to coast. Best of Bridge recipes are staples at potlucks and family dinners and reunions across the country, and the generation of children raised on them is now cooking for themselves. “They want to make dishes that were always served at family celebrations. Our recipes have become part of their domestic traditions,” according to the Ladies.
The Best of Bridge is more than a company. It’s an institution that is deeply interwoven into the fabric of Canadian life. But more than that, it’s a testament to the spirit and wherewithal of eight exceptional women whose collective head for business is matched by their commitment to each other.
Decades later, the Ladies of The Best of Bridge are retired but wanting their legacy to last, they were lucky enough to be put in touch with a number of fabulous food writers, culinary experts and old family friends who were delighted to be part of the Bridge family, including Sally Vaughn-Johnston, Julie Van Rosendaal, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Sue Duncan, and the most recent additions, Emily Richards and Sylvia Kong.
Emily and Sylvia are absolutely thrilled to carry on the tradition and connect Best of Bridge to a whole new generation of home cooks. Their recipes will not only reflect their friendship but also their love of cooking – a true homage to the extraordinary brand built by the original Ladies.
In the words of all the Ladies, “Our motto remains: ‘Simple recipes with gourmet results’ and, as our loyal fans have come to expect, the recipes work and the one-liners will keep you smiling.”
- The Best of Bridge – 1976
- Enjoy! – 1979
- Winners – 1984
- Grand Slam – 1988
- Aces – 1992
- That’s Trump – 1995
- The Best of the Best and More – 2004
- A Year of the Best – 2008
- The Rest of the Best and More – 2008
- The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 1 – 2008
- Bravo! Best of Bridge Cookbook – 2009
- The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 2 – 2010
- Fanfare! Best of Bridge Cookbook – 2011
- Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook – 2012
- The Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 3 – 2013
- Best of Bridge Home Preserving – 2014
- Best of Bridge Holiday Classics – 2014
- Best of Bridge Home Cooking – 2015
- Best of Bridge Family Slow Cooker − 2016
- Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers − 2017
- Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers − 2018
- Best of Bridge Comfort Food − 2019
- Best of Bridge 5-Ingredient Cooking − 2020
- Best of Bridge Kitchen Simple − 2021
- Best of Bridge Everyday Celebrations − arriving Fall 2022!