Gladys and Josh Archer are moving on to new adventures after serving up warm smiles and delicious meals at the Essex Inn for over two years. Chef Josh’s culinary skills and Gladys’ energetic marketing campaigns transformed the Essex landmark into a popular Adirondack Coast social hub.
Two centuries after the Essex Inn first opened its doors to the public this historic Essex, NY lodging underwent a top-to-bottom revitalization under the energetic guidance of Essex residents Karen and Rick Dalton. The community was thrilled. But a handsome renovation does not make a restaurant or an inn. It took Gladys and Josh Archer to do that.
Nearly new at about 200 years old, the delightful Essex Inn on the Adirondack Coast is at the heart of the revitalization of a historic town on the New York shore of Lake Champlain… It is operated by a young couple, Gladys Archer and her husband, Josh, the chef. Enthusiastic and determined, they have a hit on their hands… (“Rejuvenated Essex Inn Has Become a Social Hub“, Montreal Gazette, February 4 2012)
The Essex Inn restaurant quickly became a year round dining destination. Chef Josh developed a small but diverse menu to please everyone. He worked with local farmers to serve up locally grown produce and organic, grass fed beef and more. Farm-to-table dinners and local wine tasting dinners celebrated our thriving local food movement. Special programs like the Essex Inn Book and Wine Club, a weekly community happy hour, and the tremendously successful E-Club which offered locals gourmet meals at affordable member-only rates ensured plenty of buzz and a loyal, well fed clientele.
Chef Josh even introduced a line of gourmet products for guests to purchase and enjoy at home including jarred Lobster Bisque, Bourbon Au Poivre Finishing Sauce, and a salt seasoning. Although the Archer’s stay in Essex seems far too brief for many of their fans, their accomplishments were many and their legacy will endure.
We wish the Archers well in their future endeavors. (Rick Dalton)
Many residents are already asking if the much admired E-Club will be carried over to the Essex Inn’s new management. We certainly hope so!
Parting Words from the Archers
The Archers sent the following email update to all E-Club members on Wednesday to explain the transition.
As our time with the Essex Inn comes to a close, we want to be sure to take a moment and thank you for all of your incredible support, patronage, and friendship over the past few years. It’s been an amazing journey, and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Our family is proud, and humbly thankful, to be able to say that we achieved building a very strong and successful business, all while having the privilege of serving you. Whether staying as an overnight guest, or joining us for dining… YOU made it happen. Our success, was your success. We will forever treasure you and the experience in our hearts.
We had fine company in fellow businesses and organizations in Essex, such as the Pink Pig, the Neighborhood Nest, Pantouf’s Jewelry, Essex Ice Cream Cafe, ReNew, the Belden Library, the Art Association, and so many more. We felt you were our running buddies, and that we were in very good company.
We’re also excited for what’s in store for Essex such as the recently opened Lake Champlain Yoga Arts, and the newly opened NEW Health with massage, tai chi, serene acupuncture by Melissa Maki, and more.
It was wonderful having the opportunity to work with B&B Beef (the Bridge family farm), Essex Farm, and so many other local and area providers.
Highlights for us included events with the Lakeside School, and the children from Willsboro Central School. We also smile as we recall the weekend the lights went out in Essex and the surrounding area, and our Camp Dudley guests were happy to dine on warm salad and melting ice cream in a candlelit tavern. Book and Wine Club was a delight! What a memory… to sit under the “apple tree” with the WhiffAlums. E-Club nights and customer appreciation parties were always terrific. The tavern sing-a-long at Christmas with Donna, Don, and Ben, was fantastic fun! There are too many special moments to list.
What we cherish the most are the community members who made the Inn their very own, and welcomed us into their lives on a regular basis: Thoughtful flowers to adorn the tavern with a “refillable” vase, kindling for the fire, handmade glass votives for the bar, scallions from the garden, toys for the toy drive, beautiful pottery, black truffle honey, notes, and cards… the list goes on. Most importantly, we treasure your constant support allowing us to share your most intimate celebrations, parties, anniversaries, weddings, or a “just because” cozy dinner with a loved one. We never took for granted that you chose the Inn as the backdrop to these life moments. Thank you.
A special thank you goes to our phenomenal staff, the individuals whose hard work and dedication made a TEAM. We couldn’t have done it without you, and you all know how much we appreciate your time with us, and the place you hold in our hearts.
The Essex Inn has a wonderfully long and rich 200 year history, and she will continue to welcome friends, travelers, and guests for many years to come. We are grateful that we were were able to place a small impression upon her story.
A lot of you have asked what is next for the Archers? Well, this current letter will be the last you receive from us with news to keep you “Inn” the know of happenings at the Essex Inn, however, if you wish to support us in our next endeavor please feel free to email us at chefamazing [AT] yahoo [DOT] com and we’ll be sure to add you to our newest E-Club list and keep you informed on what’s coming up next. Simply type “Sign me up” in the subject header, and include your name, phone number, and email address.
Thank you again for everything, we will miss you. You loved our food, you loved our wine, and you were lovely to us! Our family has truly been blessed by your kindness.
We’re always happy to host you!
Chef Josh and Gladys Archer
Scarlett and CJ, too.
Celebrate Gladys and Josh Archer
We invite you to share your fond memories and experiences of Gladys and Josh Archer as friends, neighbors and dynamic restauranteurs in the comments below. Tell us about the best meal Chef Josh prepared for you or a particularly memorable evening. Or share a personal anecdote to help the community recognize the duo who turned a handsome historic building into a thriving Essex institution.
To get the ball rolling I would like to share the following Letter to the Editor from Melissa Maki which was published on the Press Republican website on Sept. 18, 2013.
TO THE EDITOR: I’m writing to express my gratitude to Josh and Gladys Archer, chef and inn manager at the Essex Inn in Essex.
To my immense sadness, they will not be returning. This means our small community is losing two amazing, hard-working people who brought a year-round, top-notch menu to an area where many eateries close down by Columbus Day.
We have been blessed the past few years to be able to eat local, organic food and to have a chef that offered not only traditional and creative fare but also a gluten-free menu.
Josh and Gladys kept the Essex Inn open year-round, a feat that no one has sustained in more than a decade. They partnered with local farms to get the freshest produce, meats and cheeses. They employed happy people.
And most of all, they made you feel as though you were coming home when you walked through the doors.
Thank you, Josh and Gladys, for being part of our little community and feeding us through the seasons. You are truly loved and appreciated and will be missed more than words can say.
Melissa Maki (Letters to the Editor, Press Republican, Sept. 18, 2013)
We look forward to reading your memories!
- Essex Farm: Bittersweet Fall (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Old Stone Church and Essex Inn (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Daily Doodle: Jim Carlisle’s Essex Doodles (essexny.us)
- Essex Doodlebomb: Essex Horse Nail Company (essexny.us)
- Daily Doodle: Essex Sailboats (essexny.us)
Katharine Preston says
My husband is on a vegan diet that also limits his intake of oil. When we came to the Inn for dinner, Josh would often prepare something special just for John, at no extra cost. We felt well cared for when the waitstaff, more often than not, knew without being asked to bring just straight balsamic vinegar for John’s salad. Gladys, Josh and the team will be sorely missed.
Janice Koenig says
Josh and Gladys will do very well no matter where they go. The love and respect they have for one another and their children is a very sturdy foundation from which they build a meaningful life. They offered their staff and their customers an opportunity to share in the essence of well-being that surrounds them. Food created in an atmosphere of calm and positive intent is delicious food. Those guests who were present and aware enough to eat with mindfulness had an experience that will remain with them .When Josh announced to his staff that they would soon be leaving all of us at the meeting felt the impact of the loss. Let me express my gratitude for being able to share in that brief chapter in the long history of the Essex Inn, and for the opportunity for the wonderful camraderie we all shared inside her doors…