Brassica Mercantile neighbours its successful sister business, Brassica Restaurant in the beautiful town square of Beaminster in West Dorset.
We stock a wide range of organic, local and European provisions, meat & poultry, cheese and wine, some of which is available for nationwide delivery. The kitchen at Brassica Restaurant provides the shop with ready meals, pasta sauces, feast boxes and suppers for two; all available for collection or local delivery. We source across the globe for textiles, ceramics & glassware, all displaying a strong colour and pattern element. Tableware from Italy, linens from France and glassware from Scandinavia. A carefully edited collection of cookery, nature and design books sits alongside all of this.
After 20 years in design retail and trend forecasting, the aim was always to establish a brand which reflected a relaxed way of life driven by a strong visual desire for colour, pattern and also attempting to achieve the British equivalent of ‘Hygge’ – a term to convey a way of life which isn’t easily translated from Danish to English.
Hygge generally involves being with friends & family while eating & drinking. It is essentially the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one. Our restaurant achieves this, with its warm environment, candle-lit by night, open fire in the winter, fundamental to accompanying our Modern European menu and Old World wine list.
Louise is one of the UK’s leading design and retail creatives, with expertise in home, interiors and lifestyle. Her career of more than 20 years has included extensive experience in the retail sector as well as the influential global trend forecasting business.
Building her expertise as a Senior Buyer at The Conran Shop, followed by Manager and Design Manager roles at Tom Conran Restaurants, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges. Since 2005, she has gained an international reputation as Head of Home Design at global trend forecasting giant WGSN.com and, from 2010, as Senior Vice President, Content: Product Design at trend forecasting and product development agency Stylus.com.
Louise is the co-author of 'Paint & Paper': A masterclass in colour & light.
Cass has extensive experience in the restaurant business. During the late 1980s and early ’90s he worked in Hole In The Wall, Circus and Woods restaurants in Bath. Under David Price’s tutelage at Woods he learned the day-to-day business of running all aspects of a busy restaurant: managing the kitchen, the bar and the floor; creating and maintaining a happy staff, and – most importantly – cooking for a loyal (and contented) clientele.
In 1994 Cass moved to London and became sous-chef at the celebrated Daphne’s in South Kensington. Following this he opened two restaurants, The Collection and Pasha, for Mogens Tholstrup. Moving to Sussex in 2000 Cass was integral in the opening of The Real Eating Company, a delicatessen, bakery, café and restaurant that specialised in locally sourced food as well as imports from Italy and Spain. After this success he co-founded Canteen in 2005 and, with his two partners, won Best UK Restaurant/Observer Food Monthly Award in 2007. He is the author of Canteen: Great British Food and has consulted for large hospitality brands and restaurant groups. In 2014 he opened Brassica in West Dorset with his partner Louise Chidgey.
Graham Chidgey joined the London wine trade in 1953. He began his career in cellars treating and bottling bordeaux, burgundy, port and sherry, all of which were at that time bottled in London by importing merchants. From London Graham moved to France where he worked in the cellars and vineyards of different wine-producing regions: Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux.
In 1965 Graham took over a small London merchant, Laytons Fine Wines, which he ran successfully until its sale in 1997. In its 32 years under his stewardship Laytons not only covered the classic French wines but made its own innovations such as introducing bordeaux sales ‘en primeur’ and domaine bottled burgundys; laying down vintage champagne for late degorgement, and bringing wines such as Brunello and Piedmont to a wider audience.
Following the sale of Laytons, Graham moved to Tuscany where he extended the sales potential for Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Piedmont. In 2014 he moved to West Dorset where he lives with his wife, the painter Angela Chidgey – and not too far from his daughter Louise.