Roll for the Soul is a not-for-profit café, bike workshop and event space in the heart of the city. You can get your bike fixed and grab a coffee and cake, whilst backing a social enterprise that supports cycling in the city. We caught up with manager Rob Wall, to find out why he switched to Bristol Energy.
What is Roll for the Soul?
We believed that Britain’s first cycling city deserved its own cycling café. Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign and some grant funding, we were born in 2013.
The café serves vegetarian and vegan food, and the upstairs bike workshop services everything from carbon time-trial bikes to shoppers rescued out of skips.
What makes it special?
Roll for the Soul has developed its personality thanks to the people who use it and the people who work here. There’s more to life than bikes. Bikes are bloody great, but so is music and visual art and activism and a whole load of other stuff.
We’re inspired by people who get off their backsides and create their own culture, so we encourage them to use our space and support us, just as we want to support them.
We’re committed to independence and to supporting other social enterprises, non-profits and voluntary groups. In the cultural desert of the city centre, these things matter.
So what’s the future?
Running an organisation that meets clear social aims – including paying a living wage and reinvesting any surplus in promoting cycling in Bristol - while also making enough money to survive will always be a challenge. But we hope it can be done and that we can continue to do it.
Why Bristol Energy?
For a small business, it’s important to find savings wherever you can, and Bristol Energy could provide a cheaper deal than our previous supplier. But it was also important to us that we avoid the big six energy companies, so it’s great to have the option of a locally-based supplier. It makes sense to pay our bills to an organisation that shares our values, and it means that money stays in the city. It’s a win-win.