J.D. Adam Kitchen Co. celebrates milestone

(From left) J.D. Adam Kitchen Co. family: Kathryn, Stephanie, John, Jennifer, Manon, Inge, Alex and Morgan. PHOTO: JUDY FIELD

By Judy Field

Celebrating 30 years in retail as an independent business in today’s economic climate is more than just an accomplishment – it’s a testament to the owners and dedicated staff of J.D. Adam Kitchen Co. On December 9, 2018 the store reached this significant milestone and to mark it, here are some interesting, quirky or just plain fun facts about J.D. Adam.

  • What’s in a name? The “J” in J.D. Adam Kitchen is for owners Jennifer and John; the “D” is for John’s middle name Douglas and yes, their last name is Adam. • Jennifer and John were married on September 24, 1988 and opened J.D. Adam two and a half months later. It’s a double celebration for them this year.
  • Both Adams are Ottawa born and bred. Jennifer is the business and financial whiz behind J.D. Adam while John brings his entrepreneurial spirit to the business.
  • J.D. Adam first opened at 860 Bank Street where they remained for five years. Then they bought the building at 794 Bank Street and opened their second location that focused on home décor while the original store continued to specialize in kitchen products. The two locations merged in 1993 at 794 Bank, expanding their selection of kitchen and home accessories, bath and garden supplies.
  • The Adams lived above the store for five years; today, they’re still living in the Glebe, only a little further away from the business.
  • Their daughters Alex and Morgan have helped out in this family-run business since they were little. “Many a cookie cutter was counted during the inventory process,” said Jennifer.
  • Customers value the knowledge of J.D. Adam’s long-time staff: general manager Kathryn has been there for close to 22 years, followed by Stephanie for 15 years, Inge for eight years and Manon for four years.
  • J.D. Adam stocks many local products and products from across Canada and abroad, including Emile Henry ceramic cookware from France.

On that last point, on a recent trip to J.D. Adam, I scouted out some unusual products: a Kitchen Boa® – a stylish reinvention of the classic tea towel worn around the neck; hand towels with fun quotes like, “My cooking is so awesome even the smoke alarm cheers me on”; long safety matches that are boxed with decorative winter scenes, dogs, birds and cats – useful as well as beautiful; an ice bag and mallet for quick crushed ice for juleps, mojitos or swizzels; a set of three “dust bunny” flannel dusting cloths that are “streak-free, lint-free and suitable for any household surface”; a gardener’s nailbrush and a variety of planters in the garden section. And here’s a tip – one of general manager Kathryn’s favourite items is The Endurance ® Stainless Steel flexible spatula. “It’s great for baking – cookies slide off easily – and it comes in different sizes.” Great gift ideas all! Glebe residents had this to say about shopping at J.D. Adam:

  • If they don’t have an item in stock, they’ll special order it for you.
  • It’s chock full of unique gift items, especially around holiday time.
  • Staff are so friendly and helpful.
  • Going into J.D. Adam is like walking into a well-loved bookstore with shelves and shelves of wonderful products.
  • I’m a kitchen gadget junkie and J.D. Adam stocks the best for my needs.
  • I really enjoy the chutney they carry. • Love the selection of candles and the variety of soaps.
  • Their candles, cookbooks and cards draw me in. And online, people had lots to say about J.D. Adam:
  • They have everything you want and things you never knew you needed!
  • Their ever-changing windows showcase their diverse products and welcome you inside to browse.
  • Packed to the brim with fun household gadgets and decorative knickknacks.
  • Perfect spot to buy housewarming gifts.
  • Great culinary tools.

John Adam describes the concept of J.D. Adam Kitchen Co. as a “village.” I’d say the feeling of coziness is still there 30 years later and we’re grateful to have them in our ’hood!

Judy Field is a long-time Glebe resident and volunteer for the Glebe Report who loves to shop on Bank Street.

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