Episode008 - Palates in Pursuit with Historic Renfrow Hardware & Farm’s Pressly Williams

What happens when you make food your calling, your profession, your muse?

Our Edible Stories continues a 5-part mini-series entitled Palates in Pursuit: tales of inspiration and influence in the food industry. I chat with 5 young professionals as they discuss the people, the ideas, and the flavors that craft their unique food passions.

Farmer, gardener, florist, and blogger are just a few of the titles given to Pressly Williams, a member of family-owned Renfrow Hardware in the heart of Matthews, North Carolina. Pressly shares her love of food, community and the unique upbringing in a 120 year old hardware store.

Pressly’s Pantry Must-Haves: Chocolate chips, garlic powder, canned tomatoes from last year’s garden

Pressly’s Culinary Inspirations: My standard routine when I get a new ingredient or want to do something new is to go straight to Mark Bittman's Food Matters cookbook & the Joy of Cooking cookbook. I don't watch Food Network or read any particular cooking blogs, but I ALWAYS start with these two cookbooks when looking for a new recipe or inspiration on how to use a particular ingredient.

PRessLY Williams holding renfrow farms’ beautiful sunflower blooms

PRessLY Williams holding renfrow farms’ beautiful sunflower blooms

owner david blackley offering classes inside of the Renfrow hardware store

owner david blackley offering classes inside of the Renfrow hardware store

Pressly admiring her favorite cherokee purple tomato

Pressly admiring her favorite cherokee purple tomato

Renfrow Farms’ summer market stand (now located in the hardware store)

Renfrow Farms’ summer market stand (now located in the hardware store)


Pressly’s Tomato Cheese Toast

1. Thinly slice a backyard tomato and layer it onto a slice your choice type of bread.
2. Toast in a toaster oven for several minutes, until the bread is nearly toasted and the tomatoes begin to bake.
3. Top with your favorite cheese and put back into toaster oven until cheese is melted.
4. Add salt and pepper (and garlic powder if you like!) & enjoy!

I love this basic recipe because it can be varied so much depending on bread and cheese choices. I never get tired of its many combinations!

Renfrow hardware and general merchandise- “serving industry, home & farm since 1900”

Renfrow hardware and general merchandise- “serving industry, home & farm since 1900”

cowpeas, sold at renfrow, are a Heritage seed found in the piedmont of North Carolina.

cowpeas, sold at renfrow, are a Heritage seed found in the piedmont of North Carolina.