by Michaela Parker
Set up by Jessica Brokenshire nearly four years ago, the Sourdough Cafe began its journey selling lunchtime sourdough toasties but has since grown up into an ‘anytime’ kind of place, where customers can indulge in anything from a delicious breakfast to a post-shopping treat of tea and cake. The cafe serve a constantly evolving range of sandwiches and baguettes as well as seasonal stews and salads. The chilli dog baguette with free range sausage, organic beef chilli, onions and mustard is on this week’s menu whilst chorizo, butterbean and harissa stew has also been a recent favourite. The focus is very much on locally sourced ingredients but without shouting about it- these values are clearly embedded in Jessica’s nature as a business owner. “Our ethos is just good quality produce that’s affordable. A little bit of variety too- we try and mix it up once a week,” she explains.
Jessica’s introduction to the Bristol Pound came early on when she heard about it via the BBC website so she was excited when she and her staff were approached by the team to get involved. “It’s everything we stand for- being local, for the local people, for the local community- we were really interested.”
Her commitment to the cause has extended further in recent months as Sourdough Cafe have changed some of their suppliers to those accepting Bristol Pounds. “We’ve started using Joe’s Bakery for our lunchtime baguettes,” she tells me. “We went to a lot of different bakeries around Bristol and the fact that they used Bristol Pounds was good. Now that some of our income is Bristol Pounds, it’s good to be able to spend it.”
As well as buying meat and fish from Corn Street farmers’ market on Wednesdays to introduce new ideas to her menus, Sourdough use fellow Bristol Pound businesses Stream Farm and Source Food Hall as suppliers and Jessica admits with a laugh that having Source Food Hall on her doorstep does come in handy. “If we run out of anything, we can text them from here and by the time we get there, it’s already ready.”
St Nick’s market is the perfect hive of activity and contains the great community feel that Bristol Pound envisaged the encouragement of when it started its journey and Jessica is thrilled that people have caught on quickly. “The customers are totally getting involved! It’s quite casual now too which is quite nice. It’s like “Here’s a fiver and here’s five Bristol Pounds” It’s more integrated and that’s just what it needed.”
Sourdough Cafe are open from Monday- Saturday from 8:30am-5pm