Customer Story – Windsor Hospitality Group in Stratford, ON

Jun 30, 2021

There are plenty of reasons to visit beautiful Stratford, Ontario, from the famous theatre and historic downtown to the scenic gardens and thriving independent restaurant scene. One key player in Stratford’s food culture is Windsor Hospitality Group, which owns and operates three distinct restaurants as well as several hotels. Today, we’d like to highlight some of these fantastic businesses as well as the people who run them.

Mercer Kitchen and Beer Hall

Located on Ontario Street in Stratford’s heritage centre, Mercer Kitchen and Beer Hall has a fantastic atmosphere and an unbelievable craft beer menu. Mercer has also created a vibrant, satisfying food offering that’s perfect for the trendy yet casual setting. With a focus on locally-sourced food, every plate is delicious. Staying in town overnight? The building is also home to a 14 room boutique hotel with modern amenities and beautiful, classically-styled guest rooms. These exceptional accommodations recently became a Best Western Premium Collection Hotel.

The Prune Restaurant

The Prune is a longtime fixture of the culinary scene in Stratford — and for good reason. Since 1977, they’ve delivered fine dining that is meant to be a joyful, creative celebration of food. The Prune takes notes from a variety of world cuisines as well as local classics. A Stratford catering staple, they have an amazing selection of local wine and beer as well as an inspired cocktail list. And, it all happens inside a gorgeous heritage home on Albert Street.

YSK Bistro

York Street Kitchen Bistro is a gourmet sandwich shop that serves lunch out of the same converted historic home where The Prune offers dinner service. YSK has an incredible menu of soups, salads, burgers, house-made pastas and more. With a 20 year history in the Stratford community, the bistro is loved by locals and tourists alike and also features a gorgeous garden patio. It’s a little getaway in the heart of downtown Stratford!

A spectacular team

Windsor Hospitality is owned and operated by Bill and Shelley Windsor — a hardworking husband and wife team who have decades of experience in both restaurant and hotel management. They believe in the art of service and strive to welcome each guest individually, making a positive impact on their day. The Windsors feel that food is a culture in and of itself and should be celebrated as such. In addition to running Mercer Beer Hall and Kitchen, The Prune and YSK Bistro, Windsor Hospitality operates several hotels and furnished rental suites in Stratford.

The Prune restaurant

Bill has a passion for food and wine and is deeply committed to the success of Stratford area tourism. Shelley is renowned for her expertise in hospitality as well as her volunteerism in the community, including her work as a board member of Destination Stratford, Past-Chair of the Stratford Chamber of Commerce, and a mentor for women in business. She also volunteers with the local Junior B hockey club. Together, Bill and Shelley have revitalized a number of local sites to provide exceptional food and accommodations in Stratford. With so many thriving businesses under their belt, it’s no wonder they continue to outperform expectations.

In addition to Bill and Shelley, Windsor Hospitality relies on the talents of their executive chef, Ryan O’Donnell. A world traveler who is passionate about local food, Ryan believes that hospitality is a true labour of love and has helped transform each and every one of the kitchens he’s worked in. Ryan’s excellent leadership and customer service skills have helped solidify the sterling reputation of all Windsor restaurants. They may be hotspots for tourists, but more so, they’re beloved by Stratford residents who appreciate his culinary innovation and skill. At the end of the day, it’s a “local first” mentality for the entire Windsor team!

Community connections

The Windsors believe in giving first and making a memorable difference in their community. They recently supported Hamlet School in building an accessible playground and sponsored the Stratford Warriors Junior B hockey team. (Stratford is a hockey town, if you hadn’t guessed that already!) Windsor Hospitality also supports Stratford Youth Soccer and many other local charities and initiatives.

Windsor Hospitality also sold meal packs through their restaurants with approximately 30% of all revenue going toward local charitable organizations. Bill and Shelley Windsor feel strongly that the economic cycle should stay close to home, and you should support those who support you. This means giving as much as they can to a community that’s embraced their inns and restaurants. It’s a wonderful approach, and we’re proud to call them Morton clients. If you’re in Stratford, we encourage you to take your pick of one of their fantastic options for lunch or dinner! A full list is available here — cheers.