Spike Island Café is under new ownership, brought to you by the makers of the fabulous Folk House Café. Help make it an even better place with us; a place to meet, eat, drink and engage with fantastic art – a welcoming hub that local artists, creative local businesses and the whole community will call their own.
Spike Island Café in its current form wasborn in 2007. It was designed by Caruso St. John Architects to reflect its previous life as a Brooke Bond tea packing factory, referencing a workers canteen.
In December 2015 we were asked by Spike Island to take on the running of the café, as a separate and independent business. We would like to take it to another, warmer level, reflecting the creative environment within which it sits, forging a new identity as a place of welcome, good food and with a comfortable and easy atmosphere.
"We awarded Liz Haughton the tender for the Spike Island café as she has an excellent reputation throughout Bristol for her vision at The Folk House Café on Park Street. We're working together to realise our aspirations for the café which sees Liz bring delicious, locally sourced and ethical food to the diverse community who visit and work at Spike Island."
Lhosa Daly, Deputy Director Spike Island
The café space is large and bright and a perfect meeting place for everyone in the Spike Island building, from University of West England students and incubator design companies in Spike Design, to the artists and creatives housed in the many studios and offices throughout the building. Our ambition is to keep a clean, modern feel which reflects the integrity of being associated with a cutting edge contemporary gallery. We will introduce beautiful wood, colour, gentle lighting, soft seating, shelves for books on art and food and lovely plants to soften and warm the space.
This is a first draft design from Shape Studios to show how the shelving will work, intergrating the banquette seating. Picture these filled with lush plants and art books. The counter running along the window will be made from one specially chosen piece of wood and will create a wonderful place to sit and work, read a book or simply day dream as you people watch and keep an eye on the tide rolling into the Cut opposite.
We want to attract local people as well as reach out across Bristol and to engage new visitors with our business. Our ambition is for Spike Island Café to be a destination in its own right, hosting a variety of events including talks, baby art hour, acoustic music and dance nights. Join us as we showcase and celebrate what this creative city has to offer.
Food is our thing and we are really good at it, but good food alone is not enough. We need your help to bring together all the components that will make Spike Island Café a success - carefully sourced, organic, local and delicious food and a well stocked friendly bar, warm welcoming lighting, visually interesting surroundings and comfortable seating; whatever the reason you visit we want you to come back.
Some of Bristol's great visionaries and artisans...
To achieve this vision, with your help, we will be working some of Bristol's most creative and talented designers and makers. Bristol has an astonishing array of creative, independent businesses and co-operatives. It is our belief that by working in collaboration we will create a value greater than its separate parts. It is artisanal, painstaking work using techniques and skills we need to nuture as a culture; it costs more than going to Ikea. By supporting our campaign, you will also support these businesses.
Shape Studio - designer maker brothers - to design and build all shelving, counters, light boxes & tables.
Bristol Upholstery Collective - founder Leigh-Anne Treadwell - to upholster a long banquette on the back wall and low seating area.
Dash and Miller - designers and makers of fabric using hand looms - to make a bespoke Spike Island Café fabric from re-cycled commercial yarns.
Miller Design - design team behind many labels and logos around town - designers of our logo and website .
Barny Haughton - the godfather of Bristol chefs - mentoring the kitchen team, teaching classes at Square Food Foundation
Food & Theatre Company - event creators and theatrical wizards, they will help create the community dinner for the launch of the new cafe and other events throughout the year.
Liz Haughton is the owner and operator of the Spike Island Café. She is sister to Barny Haughton of Square Food Foundation and Phil Haughton of the Better Food Company. These three are just under one third of their siblings and all three are passionate about good food, sustainably grown and properly cooked. Liz has been in catering on and off since she was 17 when she started waitressing as a poverty stricken art student.
Never quite finding her niche in the world of art and photography, Liz leaned more and more toward a career in catering without really noticing it. Learning her trade in places like the Groucho Club, 192 in Notting Hill and most importantly in the River Cafe, all in London, she also worked in Bristol on an ad hoc basis for Barny when he owned and cooked in Rocinantes and Quartier Vert. On moving full time to Bristolin 1995, swearing never to work in catering again, Liz went to work for Phil at the nascent Better Food Company, starting by wo-manning the phones for the home delivery service and moving naturally into marketing as time went on.