Peach Tree Restaurant and Gifts DEC 16 2014
The Peach Tree Restaurant and Gifts is an institution in Fredericksburg. Established in 1972 by Hector and Cynthia Pedregon as Fredericksburg’s first “gift” shop, housed in a lovely historic limestone building, the business has evolved into a family enterprise that has been visited by thousands of people from around the globe. As the gift shop with its cozy atmosphere and carefully selected products became a popular destination, the Pedregons added a tea room so visitors would have a place to sit and visit over coffee or tea with small bites of tea accompaniments. Over the years, the gift shop grew and the “tea room” became a full-size restaurant operation.
Cynthia’s many talents were evident in the operation – espeically the innovative menus of delicious soups, sandwiches, a plethora of salads topped with house-made dressings, and a lavish selection of unique desserts. The kitchen became known far and wide for the many different varieties of quiches Cynthia created. Many credit her with leading to the rise and popularity of the quiche – and yes, legions of men have eaten quiche at the Peach Tree! There’s a weekly special menu, offering a different complete hot lunch each day.
Today, the Peach Tree Restaurant offers take-out dishes, from single items to make a simple job of serving a tasty dinner in a flash, to party trays made to custom order. This service is especially handy during the holidays when every home cook relishes a little help in getting a holiday feast on the table.
The gift shop offers a grand selection of candles, personal care products, kitchen utensils and gadgets, books- including the three best-selling cookbooks which Cynthia wrote in response to the many, many requests for recipes for menu items- party goods, plus much more. The gift shop has expanded to the building next door on the lovely manicured grounds. It’s called Home at Last and offers several rooms of one-of-a-kind treasures – an eclectic mix of home furnishings, accessories, and even garden furnishings, statuary and fountains – either vintage or modern. Strolling through the rooms is a treat in itself!
On the day recalled as 9/11 Cynthia Pedregon was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. Friends and fans from all over witnessed her nine-year struggle with the disease and her courage and fortitude throughout. She continued to work until she passed away in 2012. She is sadly missed, but remembered for her many accomplishments while she ran the restaurant and gift shop, wrote three cookbooks, and raised three children.
Today the Pedregon’s daughter Tina Sawtelle runs the Peach Tree operations as a legacy to her mother. Nothing has changed. It’s still one of the most popular eateries in Fredericksburg, providing a quiet ambiance in which to enjoy a delicious lunch. Be sure to save room for dessert! Restaurant hours: Monday-Friday 11 am – 2 pm; Saturdays: 11 am – 3 pm. Gift Shop and Home at Last: Monday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm. 210 South Adams Street, Fredericksburg. (830) 997-9527. http://peach-tree.com/
By Terry Thompson-Anderson
Chef, Cookbook Author, Culinary/Wine Consultant