Five Acre Farm story
At Tobacco Factory, our core aim is to be a model of social, environmental and economic sustainability. We’ve always placed a strong emphasis on working with local independents and small businesses – from the suppliers of our menu ingredients, the local breweries whose beers we serve, and the local makers and producers at our Sunday market, many of which started their journey with us.
Our ‘Strike a light for Independents’ campaign was born out of this commitment to work with and support local independent businesses.
In early 2018, we decided to develop these values further by fully embracing the principles of the ‘farm to fork’ movement. We purchased five acres of land near Backwell, just to the south of Bristol, and set about establishing our very own farm which sits on a beautiful south facing slope, surrounded by mature trees and with views out across the Somerset countryside. The name ‘Five Acre Farm’ was irresistible, emphasising the small holding approach that is central to the spirit of the farm.
In Jonathan Boundy – formerly our Café Bar Manager who had been enthusiastically growing his own vegetables for some years – we had the perfect person from our team to take on developing and running the farm.
We grow with organic principles to make the best use of nature, to do our bit in farming as sustainably as possible.
In 2019 we opened our farm shop on the ground floor of Tobacco Factory. Alongside the delicious produce from our own farm, we also have lots of other local producers and growers in store, who all share our values for local, seasonal and sustainable food.
As well as our fruit & veg boxes sampling the very best seasonal produce from our farm, you can do your essential weekly shop from our range of:
- Dairy – local Bruton Dairy milk from the churn, butter and eggs as well as lots of non-dairy alternatives
- Pantry – flour, cereals, pulses, grains, pasta, tinned goods, preserves, oils, spices, condiments and local honey
- Fruit & Veg – always fresh and seasonal, we grow everything under the sun (literally) from tomatoes and peppers, to cucamelons and lots of varieties of mushroom! Pop in to the shop to see what’s on offer each week
- Drinks – tea, coffee, juices, craft beer and wine
- Bakery – delicious homemade cakes from the farm kitchen
Five Acre Farm Shop is open daily, 9am-5pm, entrance on North Street or through Tobacco Factory Yard Bar. You can also shop online for local delivery or collection.
The ‘farm-to-fork’ approach involves a close relationship between the farm and our executive chef, Charles Mooyaart. The menus at Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge revolve around produce coming from the farm, ensuring that we make the best use of what’s in season throughout the year.
We had a chat with Charles to discuss his food passions and his vision for Five Acre Farm, Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge…
“Having our own farm and small-holding creates a completely different environment for planning menus. Everything we plant has different growing times, so we make our dishes based around what’s in season at the farm. We only get what’s growing at that moment, which on the one hand is limiting, but on the other means we need to be more creative with what we have. Having gone to the effort of growing our own, so we want to show it off to our customers!”
In 2005, before it was trendy, I decided to get an allotment. I remember pulling up my first leeks and the smell was nothing like supermarket leeks!
In 2016, having moved to my new allotment site in Ashton Vale, I installed a 25 foot polytunnel and was amazed at how much I could grow. So many tomatoes and peppers, I just didn’t know what to do with them all, I was handing them to everyone, including many staff at the Tobacco Factory where I managed the Café Bar and owners George and Sarah. That’s where the idea was sown for Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge to have their own farm.
Charles is a Dutch import and a new kid on the block in the South-West culinary scene. He moved from Amsterdam to Bristol a couple of years ago after working as Head Chef in restaurants in the Netherlands, London and across America.
Charles is extremely passionate about the farm-to-fork movement and has loved seeing it gather momentum in Bristol, all down to local consumers wanting to be kinder to the planet.
Farm Kitchen Head Chef
For Imogen it was only natural to pursue a career in food since being surrounded by good food from a young age. After graduating at River Cottage Chef’s School, Imogen started studying a BSc in Food with Nutrition at Bath Spa University. There she learnt and combined her love for science, food and sustainability.
Now as head of production in the Five Acre Farm Kitchen, she specialises in product development for sustainable vegan and vegetarian products which you can find in the Five Acre Farm shop.
Farm Shop Manager
Mel is passionate about all things food, especially if it’s seasonal, local and sustainable or chocolate flavoured. Mel has worked across the local food industry, having worked for companies including Better Food and Bath Ales. Most recently she worked for herself as one half of Gopal’s Curry Shack.
Mel comes to us with a wealth of experience including an enthusiastic and amateur approach to growing your own at home. Mel is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the amazing produce that comes form the farm and our farm kitchen.