One of our wonderful business sponsors during the crowd fund was the very generous Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast in Southville, "where your stay doesn't cost the earth". This was a very important gesture to me, coming from another small, independent business with similar ethics and beliefs in green issues to mine, I truly know what a big commitment this was from Fran Jones, owner and operator of the greenest little b&b in town.
I asked Fran a few questions about what brought her to this business and why she wanted to help with the Spike Island Café transformation.
How long have you run the Green B&B and what inspired you to do this?
Five years. I wanted a change of direction and to work without politics, funding issues or meetings. Running a B&B is perfect for this! Redeveloping The Greenhouse allowed me to align food values with building and other values i.e good insulation, solar panels, carpet made from recycled plastic bottles, led lights…all very mainstream stuff.
Why be green?
I really believe in Fairtrade as I used to work in International Development and saw the impact sustainable farming & fair pricing had for communities – being able to plan for your children (education), health needs and your future. So, I make economic choices that in line with these values. Why organic – its what I eat and why would I serve anything less to my guests? Credentials? Green Tourism highest ‘Gold’ rating for the whole business (building, food, e-bike use, supply chain, community engagement etc).
What is it about hospitality that you enjoy most?
Every day is different. Meeting diverse and interesting people. Flexibility to shut and take time out for living
Who is your most memorable guest and why?
Two Aussie friends (76yrs and 78yrs) who cycled 6 miles to the beach in Perth every day to meet for a coffee who ‘needed a challenge’….so came to UK to cycle LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats). Their optimism and passion was so encouraging. They took about 6 weeks to do it – but made it.
I get to hear about unusual jobs and some new green & other technology from guests. THE most unusual job/process was a ‘seaweed seed grower’ from Holland who developed a wholly carbon neutral process for this work in the Norwegian Fjords now being developed for Japanese and Russian expansion.
What is about Spike IslandCafé that you like, and what prompted you to sponsor the transformation?
Spike is my favourite exhibition space in Bristol. I love the transformation of that space for/by different artists and events. I think the team and all the artists working at Spike have done a great job in growing the place and making it welcoming with fab open weekends. I thought that café lagged behind the whole of what else was on offering – the look and the food choices. I’d seen and tasted the changes and food values at Folk House and thought the transformation for Spike (and the area) would support it being more of a destination. A better café is better for Spike Island and then they become mutually beneficial… in the current funding climate, that would be a good thing for both Southville and Spike Island areas. There is of course self interest - so I hope people coming to exhibitions, visiting family will think about staying at The Greenhouse B&B.
Do you like the transformation?!
Yes. I like the addition of colour, the banquette seating, availability of cooking and art books to browse…. with very good coffee AND great food. I like the weekend brunch development and hope Spike Café will extend to some evenings – for selfish reasons as it means I can get there more easily!
SPECIAL OFFER FOR ALL GREENHOUSE B&B GUESTS - 10% DISCOUNT ON ALL FOOD OVER £5 (t&c's apply) - JUST ASK FRAN!!
Fran's guests are unanimous in their approval of her hospitality and the quality of her B&B as her TripAdvisor will testify to. Look at the website for more information on how to book, where to find it etc, or use old world technology and write to -
The Greenhouse B&B, 61 Greenback Road, Southville, Bristol, BS31RJ
Call 0117 902 9166 or tweet @GreenhouseBS3