The new community café at Bath City Farm will open to the public on Wednesday 11th May, following more than twenty years of planning and 7 months of building work.
26 years after the charity’s founders had the vision for a café at the Whiteway site, the new single-storey, timber-clad building with views over Bath is nearing completion.
The search for funding started in 2016 and to date has raised over £500,000 to pay for the build and fit-out.
Whilst the pandemic delayed the build initially, construction finally started in September 2021.
The café will be open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4.30 pm serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake.
The inside of the café has space for up to 40 customers, whilst outside there are two terraces with views across the city of Bath and over the children’s play area.
The aim will be to grow as much of the food on the menu on site as possible. Example dishes include a ‘Farmer’s breakfast’ with sausages and bacon made from locally reared pigs and a ‘Gardener’s breakfast’ with portobello mushrooms and slow-roasted tomatoes.
Lunches will include seasonal soups, quiches, tarts and salads. Customers can also enjoy sweet treats such as orange drizzle cake with candied pumpkin seeds with white chocolate and raspberry blondies.
The café will also provide work experience opportunities through a new Roots to Work programme funded by the West of England Combined Authority.
This is for people who have come through Bath City Farm’s established mental health programmes or programmes for adults with learning needs.
Trainees will be supported to carry out a range of catering and hospitality tasks at the café including till use, food, and drink preparation, front of house service, general kitchen cleaning and waste management.
The café, designed by Hetreed Ross Architects and built by Ken Biggs Contractors, will aim to generate a profit that can be reinvested directly back into the Farm’s charitable activities, helping to ensure the longevity and financial resilience of the charity.
Funds for the café have been secured from several sources including a grant from the Bath-based St John’s Foundation, which paid for Hetreed Ross Architects to be appointed to carry out the initial design.
Funds have also been secured from the Bath and North East Somerset Community Infrastructure Levy Fund, the Power to Change Community Business Fund,?Enovert, Bath Disability Trust and Bath and West Community Energy.
Bath City Farm’s Director, Brendan Tate Wistreich, said: “The new cafe will be a place for local residents and visitors to meet and connect to the land through delicious food and drink grown and made on site.
“We are excited to finally open the doors after many years of planning. We hope the cafe will be an exciting addition to our community place, offering something for everyone. We cannot wait to welcome you in.”