Lunchtime at The Bevy

Working in the Community

The Bevy have been receiving food from FareShare since May 2019 and we were excited to go and visit this unique pub to see what goes on there, chat to everyone and find out how FareShare’s food is working for them.

The Bevy is a community pub based in the heart of Moulsecoomb who pride themselves on being ‘more than a pub’, and we couldn’t agree more! The Bevy was re-opened five years ago when the neighbourhood collectively came together to re-open and transform the pub to become a hub for the entire community. In December 2014 it became the first community-owned and run estate pub in the UK and currently has over 700 shareholders.

We have an open-door policy

Baz, The Bevy Kitchen Manager

The Bevy is run by the community, for the entire community. This mean it is a diverse and inclusive space that attracts all ages and represents the whole area. They are a not-for-profit and focus on keeping their prices affordable for all. It was lovely to be there one lunch time and meet such a variety of people who all enjoyed the friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The Bevy runs daily community lunches for everyone, with cuisines ranging from Indian, British, Mediterranean and beyond! The pub is well known for being a flexible space which hosts a variety of events, from a regular darts club to BBQs for the nearby universities. The flexibility of the organisation has meant they are growing each year, expanding their impact to the community and taking on different opportunities.

Sustainability is a key priority for The Bevy, who decided two years ago to revamp their garden to grow fruit and vegetables. It has now become an impressive edible garden that is home to a vast variety of fruit and veg, from rhubarb to French beans to tomatoes. All that is grown is used in the kitchen and any surplus is given out at their Friday Friends, a senior lunch club where older residents enjoy a meal, games and some company.

 I spoke to Dave, a keen gardener and local who had been coming to The Bevy for 45 years. He kindly gave me a tour, with lots of chances to try the freshly grown produce! An important impact of the garden is that “all the food gives the chefs opportunities to explore and give people veg they have never had before… [with] the hope people start making it themselves at home too” (Dave).

FareShare Food

Helen, Sarah and volunteers at Bridge the Gap

I spoke to Baz, the Kitchen Manager and chef at The Bevy, to discuss the importance of being sustainable, food and the impact of FareShare. Importantly, receiving food from FareShare has helped reduce kitchen costs. The Bevy are currently exploring different opportunities, such as training a full time chef and branching out into delivering meals in Brighton. 

Food is at the heart of the organisation

Baz, The Bevy Kitchen Manager

The FareShare food helps make a variety of the weekly community lunches. Baz particularly enjoys the challenge and creativity of forming a meal plan based on the different food they receive each week. The Bevy and FareShare partnership means that surplus food is made into tasty meals for the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean community. In line with FareShare’s own ethos, The Bevy also encourage healthy eating. We discussed the impact of witnessing locals gradually eating healthier meals and becoming more adventurous with the food they choose to eat.

Any good chef would have no waste

Baz, The Bevy Kitchen Manager

The Bevy utilise the team’s creative minds to ensure no food goes to waste. I particularly enjoyed hearing how they will make chutneys, jams and preserves when they receive large quantities of fruit from FareShare. Our personal favourite is their delicious mango chutney!

Talking to Bridge the Gap

The ‘Bridge the Gap’ club happens weekly on Tuesday lunchtimes; providing meals for 20 people who are 50+, followed by music therapy activities. The lunchtime club provides accessible food for people who would not normally be able to leave their homes, have a nutritious meal or socialise.

Food is absolutely central at Bridge the Gap. Everyone gets a home cooked meal in a social situation.

Helen Jones, Bridge the Gap

I had the pleasure of eating lunch and chatting to everyone at Bridge the Gap. Helen and Sally made quiche, potatoes and green beans for everybody, followed by strawberries and ice cream for pudding. Helen runs the Bridge the Gap Lunch Club and was particularly proud of the volunteers who help cook, socialise and clear up every week. It was great to see how the lunch-club was engaging with such a variety of people and becoming a social hub.

Amazing, beautiful food

Nicolas, attendee of Bridge the Gap

Talking to the attendees at Bridge the Gap highlighted the importance of the organisations work. Everyone I spoke to had been attending for years, lived in the local area and enjoyed the freedom to do a variety of activities. Pearl, who is pictured with her sister Sylvia, enjoys the homemade food because it is difficult to cook at home.

Pearl and Sylvia

It is nice to get out of the house and meet people to avoid becoming a recluse

Pearl, just turned 83 and has grown up in Bevendean

Partnership with The Bevy

FareShare’s partnership with The Bevy extends beyond supplying food surplus. Recently, The Bevy hosted the FLAVOUR project for a day. This is a group of organisations from Belgium, France and the UK who are all working collaboratively to reduce food waste by stimulating food surplus initiatives, whilst creating job opportunities for people far from the labour market. Baz kindly cooked a delicious Indian feast for 30 people from FLAVOUR.

The Bevy is continually growing and exploring ways to reach out to the community and become a sustainable organisation. We are excited to hear how FareShare’s food will continue to support their community lunches and how we can

To find out more about The Bevy click here!