Tobacco Factory

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, 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…

  1. Our coffee machine is solar powered, serving around 52,000 hot drinks a year
  2. Up to 33% of the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s electricity is generated by solar energy
  3. We separate and recycle at least 80% of our waste
  4. Where possible, we buy local.
  5. We grow our own herbs
  6. Bike racks are provided on every floor
  7. Energy saving lighting is being installed throughout the building
  8. An electric car charging point is provided for public use
  9. We are a Bristol Pounds cash point – a scheme that supports the local economy
  10. We work hard to keep our prices fair.

Key People

George Ferguson

Resident Caretaker

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.

Sarah Ford

Managing Director

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.

Tim Myers

Facilities Manager

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.

Luke Frisby

Cafe Bar Manager

Frisby ensures the Cafe Bar runs smoothly and the atmosphere is always welcoming. Being a craft beer enthusiast, job satisfaction is never higher than when he’s selecting the choice of beers, while twiddling his magnificent moustache.

Anna Gilman

Events Manager

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.

David Pyne

Marketing Manager

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 Mooyaart

Executive Chef

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.

GÉraldine Roul

Market Manager

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.

Kit Mckenzie

Music programmer

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.

Dave Bain

Design and Exhibitions

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.

Angie Nelmes

Head of Cleaning

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.

Evi Pegler


Responsible for all the financial details, Evi runs a tight ship.

Jonathan Boundy

Five Acre Farmer

Jonathan Boundy – formerly our Café Bar Manager – 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.

Bristol Pound

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
Sign up
View the Bristol Pound directory