Bristol-based organic and health food retailer Better Food is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, with a series of in-store tastings.
Founded by Phil Haughton (pictured above) in 1992 as an organic delivery service, operating from his garage, the company now has three shops, each with their own café: one in St Werburghs, one in Whiteladies Road, Clifton, and the latest one which opened last year in Wapping Wharf in Bristol city centre.
The stores, which employ over 100 people from the Bristol area, offer a range of organic and local fresh produce, groceries, baby and bodycare products, alcohol and household cleaning goods.
The company is a major outlet for more than 70 local food producers and growers and works closely with The Community Farm – a social enterprise 13 miles from the city centre – which supplies the stores with organically grown produce from the farm’s own land and other local organic growers.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far in our 25-year history,” says Haughton. “But what I’m most delighted to see is how full of innovation the organic scene currently is. It gives me real hope for the future of our crazy planet, and allows us all the opportunity to play a part in that future with the choices we make each day.”
Better Food recently scooped the prestigious Soil Association BOOM award for Best Independent Retailer and has also won a Silver South West Fairtrade Business Award and a 4-star Organic Served Here award.
“Our latest focus looks beyond our role as retailers,” adds Haughton. “We’ve always punched above our weight in terms of our community engagement, but this year we’ve set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £10,000 for a new campaign that will really have an impact at a local level”.
Revealing details of the Streets to Kitchen project, he says: “We’re raising money to enable local charity and cookery school Square Food Foundation to deliver a yearlong cookery course to clients affected by homelessness at St Mungo’s Recovery College in Bristol. Getting people together to cook good, healthy food is what we’re all about, and this is at the heart of Streets to Kitchen.”
On Saturday 30 September, Better Food is also hosting the Community Feast for the second year in a row, using surplus produce from in-store and picked by staff as part of a volunteer programme hosted by The Community Farm. Proceeds will go to the Streets to Kitchen project.
“What better way to celebrate a big anniversary than by supporting the innovators of the future by inviting them in to meet our customers, and by helping our community in the best way we know how – with love and food,” says Haughton.