“Atmos Totnes is the first project to be led by Totnes Community Development Society, an Industrial and Provident Society committed to pioneering community-led development in a way rooted in local economies. Atmos takes an old milk processing factory in Totnes and, led by an exemplary and highly creative community consultation process, and in partnership with a mainstream developer and the site’s owners, is redesigning it as a vibrant, mixed use development design as the heart of a new economy for Totnes.
Atmos is a great demonstration of people power, determination and patience. We see this site as being a catalyst for the town’s economy, as well as the opportunity to model a new approach to development, and provide the means for young people to stay in the town. As greenfield sites across the country disappear under unaffordable, inefficient and boring homes, we urgently need a new model.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether, and how, Atmos will proceed will belong to the community of Totnes. Through a Community Right to Build Order sometime during the Spring of 2016, the community will be invited to vote for whether they want to project to proceed.” We would love to one day open a cafe at the site – watch this space! But either way, we love what’s happening there – innovative approach to community development which will be trailblazing in the UK!
From The Guardian, 27.3.14, by Rob Hopkins – “Food in Community started last year and is the brainchild of Laurel Ellis and David Markson. Initially imagined as a food gleaning project, wanting to mobilise volunteers to gather perfectly edible but uneconomic produce from local fields, their current focus sees the distribution of grade-out as “a catalyst for creating more cohesive communities and building community confidence and resilience”… Food in Community’s thinking goes beyond just delivering produce. They have started running cookery classes at the local family centre and also in the newly-established community kitchen in the town’s Civic Hall, for people with mental health issues and older men living alone. On the drive back from Riverford I asked Laurel, where does she think this could all go?”
“GroCycle is a project launched by Fungi Futures CIC, an innovative social enterprise based in Devon, UK.
We have been growing Oyster mushrooms from waste coffee grounds since 2011, and are still hugely inspired by the scale of the opportunity. We also know that we want to spread the idea further, so we have created the GroCycle Urban Mushroom Farm to test our ideas, and have designed an easy to use Mushroom Grow Kit to enable you to grow your own gourmet mushrooms at home from waste coffee grounds. We hope you enjoy the process!
Our aim is to keep coffee waste out of landfill by using it to grow gourmet mushrooms, produce fertile compost, and bio-fuel.
We’ve come a long way since our first year when we collected 5 tonnes of coffee grounds from cafes in Plymouth. The café staff took some while to get used to the sight of us walking off with their waste on our backs!
The GroCycle project is all about finding innovative ways of meeting our aim – whether this is through growing Oyster mushrooms for local sale, our GroCycle Mushroom Kits, or teaching the technique so that it can be replicated in cities all over the world.”
We have used their fresh mushrooms and will be using their dried ones now – they’re delicious and an really exciting ingredient to have so locally grown.
TTT has supported us since we started and continue to be one of our most loyal customers. “Transition Town Totnes (TTT) is a dynamic, community-led and run charity that exists to strengthen the local economy, reduce the cost of living and build our resilience for a future with less cheap energy and a changing climate.
TTT is not a ‘membership’ organisation, but a collection of local volunteers with a small staff team, who come together to work on projects. Anyone can be involved.
Our projects and groups are ever-changing and evolving, and we always welcome new ideas. Our work ranges from increasing low impact affordable housing, sharing skills, creating livelihoods, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions, growing our local food economy and working in partnership with other local projects.”
“A Neighbourhood Plan can help inform, direct and shape development, allowing you to say what you think Totnes needs. In order to make this happen, the Town Council has recruited a Coordinator and Steering Group Chair to produce the Totnes Neighbourhood Plan with the support of a strong and experienced Steering Group and network of local volunteers.
In 2014, we made a start on finding out what people in Totnes think about the town and carried out a household survey, the results of which can be found on our community engagement page. Over the next year, we plan to be out and about asking you more questions, and getting you involved.
You can see a map of the Totnes Neighbourhood Plan area here: Totnes_Plan_Area_A4
We believe that planning should be good for everyone, not just developers. That’s why we want to involve local people in making decisions about how Totnes develops in the future.”
We’ve been catering TNP events this year and are very excited about the work they are conducting in the area.
“Charcuterie-Butcher-Deli-BBQ-Diner-Cafe. The home of great Charcuterie, traditional native breed butchering, fine Devon produce and the best BBQ food” Run by our friends Pete and Steve who started Good Game not long after we begun our business. We are often at the same food festivals as them and they’re always welcome foodie comrades to share the cold, warm, successful and quiet events!
“This town is a trailblazer, it has embraced the independent, the free-spirited, has looked to the future and reshaped it. But we think we can go further. Who are the architects, sculptors, visionaries of our future? Are we ready to stand up and take responsibility? We want to court controversy, bring different, edgy and far-reaching ideas to this community with Global appeal. We need to reach out to look in.” The first TEDxTotnes event was October 2015 and we catered it using ingredients donated to us by local businesses – it was a hard slog and a huge success. We look forward to many more!
Our neighbours on the Totnes Industrial Estate are GinT; “Grown in Totnes is a project that seeks to increase the range of local food available to the Totnes area. We are very fortunate to have a vibrant High Street with many food shops that stock a vast array of locally grown and processed foods. Local shops support local businesses – local farmers, local bakers, local cleaners, local IT services. This is an example of a circular economy, where the money spent just keeps circulating locally. Food is a great example of a commodity that we can provide for ourselves locally, it is one of the few commodities left where this is still the case. Local clothes, where the raw material is grown locally, processed locally and sold locally is possible, particularly using wool, but it is a rare luxury to find such an item. It is possible to use locally sourced building materials, but again this is not the norm and as far as engineered products, electronic goods and packaging go, sourcing local is not an option.
Grown in Totnes attempts to set a standard for ‘local’. Is it enough that a local restaurant purchases meat from a local butcher? It is certainly a step in the right direction, a local business is being supported, however Grown in Totnes would like to see that butcher sourcing his meat from within 30 miles of the town; following the concept of local through the whole of the chain. This is our definition of ‘local’. We attempt to bring all of the stages of production, marketing and delivery as far as possible back home.”
Our other neighbours, across from us on the industrial estate are Marketplace Ministries who serve the community in a number of ways, one of which as a drop-in centre for people in need. We have a lovely relationship with them with egg borrowing, skill sharing and a natter over a cup of tea. We’re really glad to be able help on a occasion with donations of leftover food but mostly we just love having such a diverse and friendly bunch as neighbours.
“Welcome to our bakery! We’re craft bakers based in Dartington, supplying a number of local shops, cafes and restaurants with our range of bread. We also welcome the public to visit us, where you can buy our full range of baked goods and also get amazing Monmouth Coffee.
About the Almond Thief
Years ago, I was an evolutionary biologist, then a chef, next an ice cream maker and finally today…a baker. It all started one rain lashed Welsh winter with a cast iron pot and some time on my hands, waiting for our son to be born. I decided to experiment with bread making. I bought a copy of Tartine, got my sourdough starter going and got baking in the Rayburn.
A few months and a lot of loaves later we moved to Devon, where Riverford Farm Shops agreed to let me ‘pop-up’ in the Totnes shop. Now we are a team of bakers, in our own premises, with an ever increasing range of impeccably made bread.”
Ceri is the founder of Wild Running, as well as the event director for the Something Wild Trail Running Festival and the Wild Dart Swim and co organiser of the Wild Night Run Series… “For me running is not about competing against the next man, nor about running a certain time, although everyone has their own goals. I am expressing my freedom and experiencing the gift of mind and body working together, something that is absent from much of modern life. The rhythm of movement can be like a dance or a trance but one where the horizons are perpetually changing. You may begin each run by being at the centre of this complex world with problems all around but by the time you return, more often than not, many of these seem to have miraculously dissolved. Also it reenergizes me. I never feel tired after a wild run, no matter how far I’ve run.””
We often cater Ceri’s Wild Night and Day Run’s and they’re always an absolute hoot and people seem to love our hearty food after a tough but fun run on the moors!
“A local economy is like a leaky bucket – wealth comes in and as soon as it is spent at a shop or business that has more connections outside Totnes than inside Totnes, that money disappears. That’s the nature of sterling.
However, local money doesn’t leak through the holes – it bounces around inside the local economy and keeps money in local pockets.
Local money helps us think about our local economy, enquiring where our money goes once we spend it and finding ways to keep it from leaking out…
The primary purpose of the scheme is to strengthen the local economy by incentivising people to use independent local businesses. We believe that the people of Totnes have a strong sense of identity and civic pride. Totnes’s independent businesses are crucial to that community identity.
By incentivising spending in independent businesses, the Totnes Pound helps wealth created in Totnes to stay here. Known as the multiplier effect, Totnes Pounds will be spent repeatedly only within the local economy. With sterling, much of the wealth spent in the town is lost to big international business, related management structures, remote shareholders and the boom-bust of the financial banking system. The Totnes Pound can help deepen and diversify the connections between local business people and local citizens – an important part of building a sustainable regional economy and providing high quality employment…
All sterling which we receive in exchange for the new Totnes Pounds is held in a bank account as backing for the currency and to provide certainty of value to Totnes Pounds.
The costs of printing and publicising the new series of notes have been funded from two sources: donations (from Elmgrant Trust, the Totnes Chamber of Commerce and from individuals), and the funds received in exchange for the old version of the Totnes Pound. A considerable number of the previous notes will never be redeemed, as they will be kept as souvenirs by visitors, or by collectors, and we have sufficient funds to meet the cost of any future redemptions of the third series of notes.” We accept TP as a payment and try and use it where possible with our local suppliers and shops.
“This ever-growing group of young people, aged between 18 to 29, want to use the land to grow food, explore other innovative land-based enterprises and offer educational opportunities…
The Living Projects first formed in 2013 having identified a need to increase opportunities for young people in the local community.
The project aims to encourage young people to seek opportunities in the immediate area through the use of land to support entrepreneurial endeavours and to develop new skills. They will hold regular skill share events and volunteer days…
‘The Living Projects’ Is an umbrella group local to Totnes area, with a passion for creating sustainable future living solutions.
We aim to achieve this by taking stewardship of local land, creating social hubs for community integration. Making available space where young entrepreneurs can develop their ideas into viable economic solutions that improve on the cultural and social mobility in the local area. Creating endless opportunities, from business and education, through creative arts and crafts, to healthy leisure and social events.”
“Beanbug was created in 2012 by myself, Rich Taylor, with help and support from my wife Lou Taylor and encouragement from my friends and family (most of whom thought I was mad). …
Beanbug has become a successful small coffee business. I can make a very good coffee, and I’m always getting very good feedback about how astounding our coffee is. Many people say it’s the best coffee in town, or the best coffee they ever had! We can serve large volumes of drinks quickly, and getting booked for all sorts of events.” Another lovely business that started at around the time we did and is at various events and festivals we have a stall at – many a time Rich’s coffee has gotten us through an early morning! He now comes by the unit every Tuesday and Thursday to swap a coffee for lunch and serve our pop up takeaway lunch customers.
“The REconomy Project is here to… take on the exciting challenge of transforming the economic destiny of your local community – moving away from the doomed ‘business as usual’ model and towards something that helps build resilience rather than destroy it, that offers opportunity and hope despite the challenges we face, and that demonstrates a system of trade and exchange that’s more sustainable, equitable and anchored in wellbeing, rather than economic growth at any cost.
…fully transforming your local economy will require more than new individual enterprises or projects (though this is a great start). It needs change in other parts of your local system too – for example, availability of employment space and land, support and incubation for entrepreneurs, helping existing businesses change their models, and ensuring the right skills are available as well as appropriate types of investment…” We are greatly supported by REconomy and are grateful for their on-going business advice and marketing courses etc. They organise the fantastic Local Entrepreneur Forum which we cater every year.
“We are a social enterprise, or better a Transition Enterprise… We aim to walk the talk. We embody what we teach and the Transition ethos underpins our operations and the ways we work. This runs through how we design and deliver our programmes – from the food we eat to the way we get around – to the way we set up and run our business.
We challenge, connect, inform and inspire people through a mixture of activities so they positively engage with their future in a changing world. We apply this in a number of ways for effective study and personal development…
Our study visits connect you with inspiring people, projects, places and your own potential. These are carefully facilitated as experiences of personal, transformational learning. Wherever possible we get out there to connect with nature and work on practical tasks that build teams, develop new skills and embed learning.
Our approach is fun, adventurous and with a deep sense of purpose. Nearly all our programmes are bespoke. They are shaped to suit your group’s needs, time and budget, and can range from a single-day activity or workshop, to a week-long residential.” Hal has been our client since before we even formed The Kitchen Table and continues to be our best customer – we cater his tours and groups and are always very well received.
“…Susie Jones … run[s].. Bere Pottery, … near Bere Alston on the Bere Peninsula, overlooking the lovely Tamar Valley. … producing a wide range of thrown, colourful and functional pottery.” We use Susie’s beautiful pottery and would like to commission more in the future.
“We work closely with some of the best artisans in Bulgaria and together we have made a beautiful collection of hand crafted ceramics, wool blankets and rugs, and the magnificent hand woven kilims.
They are all produced by small family company’s who have been operating for over a hundred years and we have well developed ethical and environmental policies in place, which includes supporting local businesses in Bulgaria and in Devon.” We use these beautiful bowls, plates and jugs in our buffets and they bring striking colour to our spreads.
“A funeral can be a reflection and celebration of a life, as well as an acknowledgement of a loss, and we believe in helping and supporting families in choosing a funeral that is most in keeping for the person who has died.
The funeral is an important part of the healing process and for many people, involvement at this time is the beginning of letting go. We give families the opportunity to be as involved as they wish to be in the practical and emotional stages involved in saying goodbye.
Green Funerals respects the environment, and we offer coffins made from ecologically friendly materials such as wicker and bamboo, and can arrange for woodland burials, churchyard burials and cremations in sites throughout Devon and Cornwall.
We have experience in arranging funerals that encompass diverse religious and spiritual beliefs, and endeavour to facilitate the wishes of the deceased and their families.
We have been privileged to arrange funerals as diverse as a Catholic Requiem Mass and a Pagan ritual at a stone circle on Bodmin Moor. We have led a coffin through a torch lit wood with a 40 piece Samba band and we have stood in silence with four people around a grave.
People are as different in death as they are in life, and we believe that a funeral is not an event that you turn up to, it is something that we create together.”
Since we started, Ru and Claire have recommended us to their clients – we have catered several funerals at Sharpham house, people’s homes and the beautiful natural burial site at Sharpham.
“Our Vision – is a world in which all lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans+ (LGBT+) individuals have equal opportunities to reach their full potential.
Our Mission – is to empower all lesbian, gay, bisexual &/or trans+ (LGBT+ people), their friends and families, to be proud of who they are.
We achieve this by facilitating welcoming, safe & inclusive social opportunities & Pride events, running pro-active multimedia campaigns, delivering training and educational workshops and providing a consultancy service, whilst maintaining a strong media presence.
We Value – inclusivity, empowerment, diversity & equality, proactivity, transparency and positivity.”
Our absolute favourite pub! We’re friends with the landlords and often use them for parties, catered events and providing customers with sample menu’s. We also do many of the BBQ’s at their beer festivals and summer outdoor events.
“Rob & Kathy welcome you to Bay Horse Inn, Totnes. We are a “locals” pub, open from midday every day, best described as traditional without being old-fashioned. We are family and dog friendly ensuring that all members of the clan can enjoy a visit to our cosy pub or fabulous garden! Regular live music events also form part of our weekly programme.
Our insurance is brokered by Naturesave who have a trust http://www.naturesave.co.uk/the-naturesave-trust/ which supports renewable energy and other conservation and environmental projects throughout the UK. So, while ensuring we are legally covered for events, we can also feel confident in the knowledge that we are helping some exciting organisations flourish. Another neighbour of ours on the Totnes Industrial Estate