is one of the last survivors from the vast Imperial Tobacco site. It was saved from demolition by architect George Ferguson – read more about our history here.
Today, Tobacco Factory is a multi-purpose building that houses a lively Cafe Bar, Makers Market, meeting spaces, the offices of several creative organisations, a performing art school and residential apartments. The building is also home to Tobacco Factory Theatres – one of the most exciting performance venues in the country.
Strike a light for independents
Led by Bristol’s first elected mayor, George Ferguson, Tobacco Factory is a leading light in the campaign to support and champion independent, local business.
Founded on George’s belief that independent businesses are the lifeblood of our city, and give North Street its distinctive character, Tobacco Factory is proudly reliant on independent brewers, producers and suppliers.
The building’s transformation has been a catalyst for regeneration in the area, and Tobacco Factory’s continued support of independents has made it a hub for the area’s flourishing business community.
Find out more about just some of the local producers and supplies we regularly work with on our Friends & Suppliers page.
We are committed to supporting the local community and reducing our impact on the environment. Here are some of the ways that we try to make a difference…
- Our coffee machine is solar powered, serving around 52,000 hot drinks a year
- Up to 33% of the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s electricity is generated by solar energy
- We separate and recycle at least 80% of our waste
- Where possible, we buy local.
- We grow our own herbs
- Bike racks are provided on every floor
- Energy saving lighting is being installed throughout the building
- An electric car charging point is provided for public use
- We are a Bristol Pounds cash point – a scheme that supports the local economy
- We work hard to keep our prices fair.
Seeing the potential for an exciting mixed use project, George saved the Tobacco Factory building from demolition and set about creating the cultural, social and creative hub that it is today.
Having joined Tobacco Factory at the outset to set up the Cafe Bar in 2001, Sarah oversees all aspects of Tobacco Factory's Cafe Bar, including events, the Sunday Market as well as Grain Barge.
Looking after all aspects of the Tobacco Factory building and the Grain Barge, Tim is a self confessed construction nerd and is never happier than when calculating wall thickness and heat retention.
Previously the Cafe Bar Manager, Anna is these days very happily throwing our parties, being responsible for the many events at Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge, ensuring that everyone has a joyful time.
Responsible for spreading the word about all aspects of the Cafe Bar, events, the market and Grain Barge, David works with the team to ensure that everyone gets to know everything that’s going on.
Charles joins us with a mission to spread his belief that food should be ethical and fun - bringing people together with classic dishes made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
It is Géraldine's love for food, creative independent businesses and the buzz of the market atmosphere that gets her up early most Sunday mornings for our market - come rain or shine.
When not dreaming up copy or snapping photos Jen spends her time cultivating an extensive slogan t-shirt collection, raving about Hamilton to anyone who will listen, and eating a lot of chocolate.
Overseeing all things music at Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge, Kit is a promoter, sound engineer and DJ, and is committed to providing the best musical adventures to the community.
Taking care of all design-related needs for the Cafe Bar and Grain Barge, Dave also curates the exhibitions. The rest of the week he works from his studio in Old Market as a freelance illustrator.
As well as picking (and drinking!) the beer we sell in the Cafe bar, Connor is a dab hand at wearing a Beanie hat and reading lots of books. Currently he’s reading “100 years of Annoying the French”.
Bringing 25 years experience to the role, Shaun describes his special skill as ‘patience’. When not enjoying writing up the weekly staff rota, he juggles drawing, painting, printing, cycling and hiking.
With a background in a wealth of projects from festivals to tree planting campaigns, Dan brings a varied and creative experience to managing our Five Acre Farm stall and café in Makers Market. When not perfecting flat whites, Dan can either be found at his pottery wheel, or backpacking somewhere in the wilds.
Joining the company in 2001, Angie is the longest serving member of the team. Her commitment to the task and attention to detail ensure that the building is always clean and tidy.
Responsible for all the financial details, Evi runs a tight ship.
Formerly our Café Bar Manager – Jonathan had been enthusiastically growing his own vegetables on his allotment for some years, so was the perfect person from our team to take on running Five Acre Farm.
The Bristol Pound is a secure, local currency, designed to support Bristol’s independent businesses.
You can spend your Bristol Pounds at Tobacco Factory, Grain Barge and at any of our Sunday Market stalls. Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar is also a Cash Point, where you can exchange your sterling for Bristol Pounds.Find out more
View the Bristol Pound directory