England native Terri Williams said living in America has exposed her to a lot of good food.
“The food here is fantastic,” she said. “But there are some foods — comfort foods — you just can’t live without.”
To bring them home, Williams started a home-based bakery called British Bites. Her niche product is shortbread, made from a secret recipe, and she began to sell them to coffee vendors in October 2011.
Three months later, Williams provided British-baked goods to complement the British Aisle at T-4-2, a business in downtown Puyallup.
This past year, the owner of T-4-2 sold her business, and Williams was enticed to look for a larger space that included a kitchen. She found it at 720 E. Main.
“I’ve always wanted to have a business,” Williams said. “The way it all happened, it was obviously my destiny.”
On Sept. 5, she opened British Bites — a full grocery, bakery and bistro.
“I wanted something very casual, very heartwarming, for people to come to,” Williams said. “I wanted it to be modern, and I wanted it be comfortable for men, women and children.”
Williams said there is a large pocket of British natives who live in east Pierce County.
“If they can’t go to England, they can come here and have a taste of England and the English experience,” Williams said.
Specialties include cream tea, which is a small pot of tea served with a scone, jam and clotted cream. A top-selling bakery product is the mini vicki, which is a miniature version of the Victorian sponge cake.
“It’s named after Queen Victoria, who had it with her afternoon tea,” Williams said. “I wanted it to be an individual cake and downsize it, so it wouldn’t dry out quickly.”
Along with British-inspired sandwiches and salads, customers can relax with a cup of tea or specialty British sodas. One is dandelion and burdock, which has a licorice flavor.
Apart from experiencing the taste of the English, Williams and her staff members include British pop culture memorabilia — pictures of movie stars like James Bond’s Sean Connery and the iconic image of The Beatles walking Abbey Road.
This Sunday will be the 50th anniversary celebration of the BBC series “Dr. Who,” which originally aired on Nov. 23, 1963. From Friday through Dec. 1, British Bites will feature bistro dishes inspired by characters and plotlines in the show.
British Bites employee Rachel Brook envisioned much of the British Bites celebration.
“Everything on the menu are either characters or things that have been mentioned in the show,” said Brook, who has watched “Dr. Who” since 2004.
Brook said customers who enjoy the food will receive a “Dr. Who” reference book, which will provide the meaning behind each dish.
“There will be a raffle drawn for the standup character cutouts, and quite a lot of memorabilia will be available,” Brook said. “I hope people have a fun time and get that ‘Dr. Who’ experience.”
Williams said she plans to have a grand opening in January.
“We will have a few specials going on, incorporating it with a Downton Abbey theme,” she said.
A new season of Downton Abbey will start in January.
If you go
British Bites, 720 E. Main, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Take-away and call-ahead orders can be made at 253-200-2342.Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.