With a glut of cafes, delis, restaurants and markets, to name but a few, Clifton has become established as a foodie’s paradise. And with Whiteladies Road having been nominated in the “Best Foodie Street” category in the 2010 Google Street View Awards, where better for St Werburgh’s-based The Better Food Company to choose as the location for their new outlet?
The company is owned and run by managing director Phil Haughton, whose interest in all things organic and agricultural began at the age of 14, when his family moved from Yorkshire to Scotland to adopt a self-sufficient lifestyle. Haughton’s interests eventually led him to Bristol, where he ran a city farm before opening his first organic shop on Gloucester Road in 1985.
In 2002, the BFC took over their current premises in St Werburgh’s, opening a cafe onsite in 2005 and buying a walled garden in Somerset a year later in which to grow food for the shop and vegetable box scheme that they offer. As the business expanded, the decision was made to move the garden to a 24-acre site outside Bristol in 2009.
Phil’s desire to spread the word is clear. “We see ourselves very much as the link between the wonderful things being produced around us in the South West, and the people of Bristol. Our customers are savvy, and want to know the provenance of what they buy. And our producers are a passionate bunch who want to get their goods out to those who will appreciate them.”
The BFC’s values will be evident in the new Whiteladies Road shop. Taking over number 94 – a former off-licence close to Richer Sounds – the store’s focus will be on “top quality food with impeccable local provenance”. The focus, however, will not purely be on food sales: describing one of their priorities as “developing and maintaining connections to local growers and suppliers”, the BFC will be hosting in-store and on-street tastings, producers’ story-boards and local shelf “talkers” as part of their offer.
The shop will be having a quiet opening day on Monday, October 11th, with a large launch on Saturday, October 30th, featuring a raft of local producers who are keen to meet their customers and discuss their products. Head on down to join them in a celebration of their 25th anniversary of trading!