J ames Treadwell, Sommelier and Owner at Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Think you know Niagara? Think again. Sure, many of us know Niagara Region as the home of the world-famous falls, but there’s so much more to the region - that spans Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland—to leave you just as inspired and invigorated as the Niagara Falls themselves.
Here we’ll feature Niagara locals and their business to share what their version of Niagara is, to encourage you to discover yours.
We kick our profile series off with James Treadwell, Sommelier and Owner of critically-acclaimed restaurant, Treadwell Farmto-Table Cuisine. Since 2006, Treadwell has been delighting taste buds with flavors that are uniquely local, uniquely Niagara. Think dishes infused with seasonal ingredients from artisan producers within the region, paired with world class Ontario wine. Needless to say, there’s no better place to sink your teeth into all that Niagara has to offer.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK/LIVE IN NIAGARA?
After going to University in Ottawa and working in Europe, I was presented with an opportunity to open Treadwell with my dad, Chef Stephen Treadwell, in Port Dalhousie. Over the past 13 years, Niagara has been a wonderful place to have our business as it is a growing tourist market, especially for gastronomy, while providing easy access to Toronto. My wife and I currently live in Grimsby and find it a terrific mid-point between the restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto, where she works. There seem to be a lot of things changing around the region and there are now many activities and businesses that suit our lifestyle.
WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR ROLE?I’m equally passionate about wine and providing hospitality to guests at Treadwell. I’m inspired by the professionalism and work ethic of our team and feel positively challenged to go above and beyond our guests’ expectations. A lot has been made of how challenging the restaurant industry is (and it is), but I’m proud of what our business has accomplished up to this point and will continue to push myself and our team to be better.
HOW DOES NIAGARA INSPIRE WHAT YOU DO?
From day one, our restaurant has always tried to showcase the many artisanal producers of the region. Many of our suppliers from the area are listed on the back of our lunch and dinner menus and we’re delighted that we have been able to continue those relationships today. Seeing the quality and freshness of the product being produced just minutes from the restaurant inspires me the most. Following the focus of the kitchen, our wine program has been built on showcasing what we felt was the very best of Ontario winemaking, with a specific focus on Niagara. Over the past 13 years, we have built what many believe to be the finest collection of Niagara wines in Canada. Seeing the success of the Niagara wine industry, both on a national and international level, inspires my team and I to continue promoting these diverse and exciting wines.
WHAT DOES NIAGARA MEAN TO YOU? WHAT IS ‘YOUR NIAGARA’?
Niagara has been my home, off and on, for the past 22 years. It’s an unbelievably beautiful region with an eclectic mix of individuals and businesses. It’s safe, affordable and tolerant. While it has changed quite a bit over the past decade, I feel there is so much more potential and I’m excited by the opportunities being presented to not only my business, but other likeminded locals as well.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE MAKE A TRIP OUT TO NIAGARA?
Niagara is unique in that it presents a diverse mix of experiences throughout the region. Whether that be sport, arts, wellness, gastronomy, or history— this region accommodates the interests of many. Its location from Toronto and the major cities of the Northeastern US, makes it accessible to those looking for a multiday vacation that is not too far from home and unlike any other.
To plan your trip to Niagara, visit VISITNIAGARACANADA.COM
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For more on Treadwell, visit TREADWELLCUISINE.COM