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Personal memories of Woodward’s

December 9th, 2009 · 74 Comments

I zipped down to the new Nester’s store at Woodward’s yesterday, where there was a major PR-assisted nostalgia initiative going on to link to the old Woodward’s Food Floor. In spite of that, it was fun, seeing all these people flooding in to what has been a dead block for a decade and a half.

And, as I left out the cheese shop side door onto Abbott, where the sun was shining and the street was busy, and the ghostly old advertisements on the original old Woodward’s store were visible above every window, it reminded me of how lively it used to be down there.

I got to write about a few snippets of my years of experiences with Woodward’s (and I still have my old blue and white credit card in the house somewhere — yay for hoarders) in the Globe yesterday. Funny how this capitalist operation generated so much love once it was dead.

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  • Beryl Brown

    I worked at BC Tel in New Westminster when I arrived in Canada in 1974. I shopped at Woodwards in Newestminster and thought it was a wonderful store. The customer service was the best anywhere, I bought all my groceries at Woodwards and colleted all their recipes. I was sad to see Woodwards close. I have since retired and am living in Wales UK.
    If anyone has a recipe for peanut butter crunch made with rice krispies and cornflakes I would appreciate it.

    Thank you Beryl Brown

  • Elise Hull

    Hi Beryl, please see comment previous to yours. There is the recipe for your Peanut Crunch Squares.

  • cindy gell

    Hi, I worked for Woodward’s on the 6th floor in one of the offices in the 70’s. Does anyone remember and have the recipe for the famous Woodward’s chocolate cake?

  • Terry Walker

    Hi Cindy:

    I have several pages of the “Bea Wright’s Recipes” from Woodwards at my place on the Island – I will have a look for chocolate cake.
    Was the 6th Floor where Toyland was?


  • Hi Terry,

    I live on the island, too. The 6th floor was kind of like a discount store. Things were sold cheaper up there. I don’t remember toyland being up there but maybe at Christmas. I do remember be able to go into one of the executives offices to watch the PNE parade since everyone was out on the street and not in the store as the parade went by. thanks for looking for the chocolate cake recipe, my mother-in-law will be so pleased.

  • Terry Walker

    OK, maybe it was on the 5th floor… I’m pretty sure it was there all the time, not just at Xmas. I was asking because I was hoping that someone who worked there might know someone else who would know about the ordering of train sets that were sold in Toyland… It’s kind of unlikely, I know – but, doesn’t hurt to ask..
    I’m in Vancouver but I have a place in Fanny Bay…….. where are you?
    I’m at: one that flew (at) yahoo dot sea, eh?

  • Hi Terry,

    I live on the outskirts of Merville. Not sure how I landed here. I’m a Kits graduate. But have been here since 1982.

  • Terry Walker

    Hey Cindy:

    You’re just up the road..! I’m heading over on Mon. – should be there for a couple of weeks, will look for the recipe. I’m in the phone book – M. Walker on Yake Rd., but I have no internet connection when I’m there.


  • Beryl Brown

    Elsie, Thank you so much for the peanut butter recipe, I made it for my son (now 45) he still loves it. I use to make a tuna mold which was nice for a party table but again with moving around I lost my recipes, if you have it in your collection I would love to make it, I remember it was on a colorful card not the paper sheets

    Thank you again Beryl

  • Linden (Linda)

    My mother worked on the food floor during the 50’s her name was Belva and she had many fond memories of the store. I started working at the Mezzanine Lunch when I was 15 and then in sporting goods until 1983-84.The food was amazing and so were the people, such fun !
    There is a department store museum site and Woodward’s memorabilia site that is pretty awesome too : )

  • Bonnie

    I worked there in the 1970s. Good benefits, lovely co-workers everywhere at the small store I worked for, great company policy on customer service. Unfortunately the management wasn’t as well trained as the other large department store chain I previously worked with and I couldn’t figure that strategy out. I was disillusioned and went back to the other store for equal benefits, better pay, and it is still open.

  • Bonnie

    That’s for sure it was the worst place to work

  • Bonnie

    The Christmas Cake recipe on the Woodwards recipe sheets was the best ever. You plumped the raisins in a warm pot. I haven’t made it in years, but used to make it as gifts, because it was too rich to keep around the house. It cost a fortune to make and still would, but if you like a dark cake, it is simply the best.

  • a60sbaby

    Would you happen to have a recipe for Woodward’s Black Forest Cake?

  • Nicole

    Hi Katie… I am Faye Schuharts Niece, unfortunately she passed away this year in January

  • sherri

    Would absolutely love the recipe for the icing (white) they used on the birthday cakes.

  • Buster

    I know exactly what mean. I loved working at Woodward’s because it felt like a big family, but the managers often had terrible people skills and didn’t know how to cultivate relationships with younger workers (preferring instead to throw their weight around). I worked at Oakridge part-time while I was going to university, and then I worked downtown full time in kitchenware around 1978-9. I remember exactly what made me quit: the older cashiers were often very tired at the end of the day and didn’t like having to take the money up to the office. I’d always been taught to be considerate of older people, so, If an older woman was the one cashing up, I’d usually offer to take the cash bag up for her, so she could punch out and go home and put her feet up. One day the assistant manager interrupted my offer to suggest that I was doing so for the “overtime” of ten minutes.

    Yeah, that 37 cents of overtime was really a motivator, Mr. Anderson. Almost forty years later, it still bugs me that I tried to do a nice thing, and it was perceived as self-serving.

  • Jeremy Wallace

    agreed! if anyone has this recipe, feel free to share it 😉

  • Frances Harding Ingram

    Do you have the recipe for their bakery Icing for their cakes?

  • Lori

    Hi. Does anyone from Woodward’s remember the Italian Sandwich at the deli and how it was made?? Thanks!

  • Aida Felix Finch

    Hello Elise! Do you happen to have the buttermilk muffin recipe?? It had the crunchy brown sugar topping? My sister and absolutely adore them and have tried unsuccessfully to replicate them!
    Thank you so much for your time,

  • Aida Felix Finch

    Hello Woodwards Fans!
    Does anyone happen to have the buttermilk muffin recipe?? It had the crunchy brown sugar topping? My sister and I absolutely adored them and have tried unsuccessfully to replicate the recipe!
    Thank you so much for your time!

  • Kathleen

    Me too! I’ve been craving that icing for years.

  • Darlene Bodor

    Does anyone know the recipe for the macaroni and cheese from the deli?I so hope so… Best I’ve ever had!!