Last week I stood on Kilburn Street and chatted to Liz Jones, the manager and bedrock of Easton Community Centre. Around us Easton was buzzing noisily. It was Friday afternoon, school kids were celebrating the weekend, and the mosque was emptying out after prayers. Traffic was backing up the narrow road and the tempers of some motorists slightly flared, much to the amusement of drinkers spilling out of The Plough. The overwhelming atmosphere was cheerfully chaotic. As Liz and I people watched for a few minutes, I was struck at just how brilliant an area Easton is and how fortunate Foodcycle is to be placed there.
A couple of days later Bristol Foodcycle relaunched in fine style after a 6 week summer break. As usual volunteers combined forces to concoct a delicious 3 course meal for all those who wished to spend their Sunday afternoon being well fed in Easton Community Centre. The menu consisted of bruschetta with salad and guacamole, followed by vegetarian pasta and topped off with apple and apricot crumble.
Our relaunch co-incided with the good news that Shane, one of our cooking managers, has been successfully nominated for an award as an unsung community hero of Easton & Lawrence Hill. We’re all really glad Shane is getting recognition for his efforts and anyone who’s eaten the chef’s patties will understand why he deserves it. As somebody who has wide experience in vegan catering, has worked at the fantastic Cafe Kino and is currently studying nutrition, Shane really couldn’t be more of an asset to the project. Nick Seely from the Methodist Centre, a long standing friend of Foodcycle, was responsible for the nomination and so thanks Nick.
Over the summer the community centre received a welcome decoration from the proprietors of the new cafe In the Mix, Tim and Simon. Their brilliant work has freshened up the seating area that both In the Mix and Foodcycle use. Adding colourful wallpaper to the walls and pillars, as well as bright table clothes, has dramatically warmed up the space and added to the comfort of the centre. All the more impressive is that their budget for sprucing up the space was practically zilch, they’ve reclaimed, reused and upcycled nearly all their materials.
In the mix is open monday to friday between 9-5 serving warm food, hot drinks and a delicious array of baked goods. Go check them out!
With the community side of Bristol Foodcycle back with a bang, thoughts are turning to how we might be able to develop the project for the future. We’re open to partnerships and collaborations, so do get in touch if you have any ideas for events or how we might improve the project. Equally if you’re interested in simply helping out with the regular Sunday meals, you’d be very welcome to come along and get involved with transporting or cooking the food. Also in terms of developing the project, we’ve entered the Natwest community force competition which we encourage you to vote for when voting opens next week. And most excitingly, after a brainstorming session in July we’ve got funding applications pending to purchase a mobile kitchen to offer alfresco meals around the city and perhaps even to cater for a pop-up restaurant.
To borrow a phrase from Roots Manuva, “Big Tings Gwidarn”.