Phoenix Wharf, the Bristol-based interior design and branding agency specialising in hospitalityand retail, has announced the completion of a new scheme for innovative bakery business The Bristol Loaf, who, together with other local artisanal partners, has launched a new community foodie hub in Bedminster, in the south of the city.
The Bristol Loaf was initially set up in 2017 by entrepreneur Gary Derham, whose background includes working for local hospitality operator The Assemblies. The Bristol Loaf ‘s first outlet was a single-unit bakery and café in the Redfield area, before expanding into a second unit and becoming a successful, high-end, artisanal bakery products supplier to many other local businesses, with a retail and wholesale product range that includes sourdough bread and great-looking pastries. ‘The first bite is with the eyes’ remains a founding credo of the business. The retail arm of The Bristol Loaf also built a reputation for serving outstanding coffee.
The ongoing success of the Redfield site led to the expansion into additional premises, taking the opportunity to re-locate the business’s baking operations at the same time, with the original Redfield site remaining open as a café. The new venue will also host an expanded food and drink offer, sourced not only from The Bristol Loaf, but from a number of other specialist operators, effectively creating a mini foodie hub for Bristol. Located on Bedminster Parade, the café-store sits within Engine House Developments, a boutique, mixed-use development, taking up the entirety of the site’s ground floor, with 240 sq m front-of-house space and 90 sq m back-of-house.
‘The vision for the new undertaking’ Phoenix Wharf Associate Creative Director Emma Carter commented, ‘is an ethical supermarket that is accessible to all, where customers feelvery welcome to spend time and relax.’
The Bristol Loaf will be retailing its own takeaway bakery produce in the space, as well as offering café customers a menu that includes coffee and pastries and a deli offer encompassing soups and sandwiches, quiches and salads, plus drinks such as smoothies and kombucha. All the produce will be locally-sourced and all dishes made from scratch on-site. Local operator Hugo’s Greengrocer is taking a 25 sq m space within the offer and there will be two other specialistproducers present: The Bristol Loaf’s new sister brand, wine specialist The Bristol Vine, andlocal cheesemonger Two Belly.
The brief for the new site was to create a community foodie hub that widened The Bristol Loaf’s offer but was still visibly linked to the original venue. The business’s commitment to sustainability meant initiatives such as using heat generated by the kitchen ovens to heat the whole space, with the smell of freshly-baked bread also filling the air. A fully-digitised order system will prevent any paper wastage, whilst the timber from former baker’s tables from The Bristol Loaf’s first premises has also been sanded back to minimise signs of wear and tear before being re-constructed as tables for the new venue’s café.
‘For the interior look and feel, the client asked for planting to be a really stand-out, nature-inspired element, building on the presence of plants in the original Redfield site’, Emma Cartercommented. ‘The materials palette is both rustic and tactile and includes white tiling and the extensive use of solid ash timber for shelving, corridors and even ceiling panels, alongside brick and raw, exposed concrete, ensuring the overall aesthetic is the antithesis of a slick, super-polished look.’
The café area includes 58 covers in total: 44 at the tables and 14 at perch/bar seating along the scheme’s full-height storefront glazing, with a wooden ledge counter and upcycled stools. The tables are in a variety of 2- and 4-seater arrangements, coming together easily to cater for larger groups. Bi-folding windows along the glazed wall enable the site to have evening opening presence onto the street front, whilst signage and branding is mostly hand-scripted and low key, allowing the company’s products to do the talking.