A bit of the store's history: In 1985, our father Bob Bussey and our uncle Bill Bussey founded and ran Bridgham & Cook, Ltd. in Exeter, NH. After moving the store to Freeport, Maine – tucked away in a semi-hidden alcove - the retail store flourished and expanded to include a website and online sales until a devastating fire hit the store on September 10, 2006. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we re-emerged six weeks later at a wonderful location right on Main Street across from the historic Jameson Tavern and L.L. Bean. In 2015, in honor of our 30th anniversary, we moved across the street to a much larger and brighter space.
In 2000, our father was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease); for many years, he continued to run Bridgham & Cook from his home. In 2010, only able to move his eyes, Dad and Uncle Bill decided to pass the store down to us. We are proud and excited to carry on this wonderful family business.
With great sadness, we must inform you that our father passed away on August 19, 2012. He will be sorely missed by anyone who ever knew him.
Kate Bussey and Nick Bussey
Below is the original Welcome Page from our old site, in Dad’s own words:
From time to time in the store, brother Bill and I are asked how we got into this business. Sometimes the implication is, "This doesn't look all that tricky. Maybe I should open one of these in Tulsa." In mid-1984, we were refugees from private boarding schools. Bill had been an English teacher, coach, and dorm master at a well-known coed school in Massachusetts (and, in fact, now serves as Provost at a Boston-area school). I had been headmaster of a very traditional girls' school, also in Massachusetts. Newly released from responsible lives, we were clear about what we wanted next: something that would regularly put us in contact with British and Irish pubs. School work can do that to you! Guided by such altruism, we opened Bridgham and Cook, Ltd, - those are our middle names - in a very low-key way in Exeter, NH. That was 1985, and the results were low-key beyond all expectations. Fortunately, God (and L.L. Bean) made Freeport, Maine a shopper's dream town. We are tucked next to some of the most prestigious stores in the country in a friendly and attractive town, only a few miles from where we grew up. We are surely gratified that this niche of ours has prospered in what is a beehive of innovative businesses, big crowds, and high rents.
Welcome to Bridgham & Cook online. We hope that we will be able to have you as a customer.
Warmly, Bob Bussey