Call for borough to back Growhampton in national awards vote

Wandsworth’s gardeners, allotmenteers and organic food lovers are being urged to get behind the University of Roehampton Students’ Union’s Growhampton project, as it bids to win a prestigious Soil Association national award for its café.

Posted: 4 September 2014

image for news story Call for borough to back Growhampton in national awards vote
Growhampton's Joel Williams at The Hive Cafe

Growhampton’s The Hive Café, on the University’s campus is open to the public and has been well used by residents during the summer holiday, after being opened in May by MP Justine Greening.

Now the café, which sources its food locally and sells organically grown produce has been selected by judges as one of the top five organic eating out venues in the country. It is competing against an Islington pub, a café in Sheffield, a farm in Northern Ireland and a small chain of organic cafes in Pimlico, Notting Hill and Gloucestershire.

Growhampton’s Grower Joel Williams said: “To see The Hive listed alongside some of the most recognised and long-standing organic food businesses in the country is outstanding after just a few months of being open. The students who help us run Growhampton by planting and tending our crops on the campus have done a fantastic job to get us this far, and we would be honoured to win this award, so we need everyone in Wandsworth, and even across South London to vote for us. If we do win, it’s a result for the whole borough as so many local people are involved in making the food we sell and of course enjoying it at the café.”

Growhampton works closely with Roehampton-based social enterprise, The Feel Good Bakery,, which takes the raw ingredients grown on campus, and use them to produce fresh sandwiches, which are then sold at the Hive.

Joel and the Growhampton team also run a farmers’ market every Thursday, where crops are sold to students, staff and the public outside the café, with the money raised being ploughed back into the project.

Voting is open until Tuesday 30 September, to vote for The Hive Café, visit the Soil Association website

Shortlisting to find the finalists for each category was undertaken by a panel of judges including journalist Rosie Boycott and Ed Dowding, founder of Food Trade. This year the judges based their decisions not only on the quality of the product, but the organic story behind it. The winner will be decided by the public vote and winners will be announced at an exclusive ceremony, as part of the Soil Association’s annual conference on Wednesday 8 October.

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