As always, we here at Drew are passionate about all things Social Enterprise; therefore whilst Kerry and I were visiting the lovely Soil Association in Bristol, we were excited to visit the local eateries and were thrilled to discover the amount of Social Enterprises in the city, focused on bringing people, and communities together.
One of the Social Enterprise cafes that we visited was called the ‘Bearpit Social’. Over four years ago Miriam started the Bearpit Social when she felt the need to bring some brightness and joy to what was a very dark, dangerous and isolating roundabout in the heart of Bristol. The roundabout also doubled up as a daunting and intimidating underpass for over 14,000 Bristolians a day. Four transitional years later the ‘Bearpit Social’, ‘Bearritos’ and ‘Bear Fruit’ shop have grown into vibrant enterprises that hire a combined 11 staff and serve delicious organic, vegan and vegetarian food to the community.
The Bear Pit itself has turned from a notoriously dangerous spot to a haven; a safe place to come together, whether it’s for a community event feeding over 270 people, listening to live music and enjoying themselves, or helping with the veg gardens which was funded by Kew Gardens, or simply buying your daily fruit, veg, coffee or lunch!
The next phase is to bring the 3 businesses together under one refined umbrella brand ‘Bear Pit Bristol’ which will again, aim to keep developing and improving this space for EVERYONE!
It’s always so encouraging meeting such motivated folk – folk who have been brave in the face of darkness and brought brightness to so many lives.
Visiting the Bear Pit is a must. Be inspired.
Here’s a little visual diary of our day in Bristol: