Gloucester Road is known locally as Bristol's Indie District and is home to a brilliant mix of businesses, from family-run shops through to bustling bars and award-winning restaurants.

Local photographer Colin Moody went door-to-door to find out more about these brilliant businesses and their owners, and we're very pleased to showcase some of his photos and interviews below.

Arawelo Eats

Fozia Ismail runs popular supper club Arawelo Eats from her home and was recently included on a list of the best food & drink for 2019 by Observer Food Magazine.

“I was born in Kuwait to a fierce Somali mother who is the most inspiring cook. Arriving in London as a refugee in the '80s, food was a way my mother connected us to our Somali heritage.  East African food is, in its very essence, fusion food. For centuries the Somali/Swahili coast has been shaped by trade with India and the Middle East. In the 20th century you see the effect of the Italian and British occupations through staples like pasta, bread, pizza and desserts. These supper clubs in my home are such a joy.” 

Arawelo Eats - Colin Moody

7th Sea

Emma runs 7th Sea on Cheltenham Road, a small boutique specialising in handmade gifts, prints, jewellery and ceramics made by local artists.

“One of the greatest things about Bristol is it’s creative spirit. I love being part of the vibrant art scene here, and enjoy providing artists and designers with a place to showcase their work.” 

7th Sea - Colin Moody

The Gallimaufry

James Koch is the owner of this popular all-day bar & restaurant. The Galli is very much a community and creative space, with local art adorning the walls, and probably the most impressive ceiling you'll see in Bristol! James commissioned artist Max Malone to create a collage of 4000 pieces of art on the ceiling which took 2 months to complete.

“Gallimaufry means a hodge podge stew of leftovers, and it was traditional thing on long sea voyages when it was all bits and bobs left over. So we called it that. It was the Prom music bar before. We had so little money but high hopes for a community focused place. We are open 7 days a week open till midnight and weekends till 1am. We cater for all people here, we want to be a support to people, a care in the community space. It’s a place where people can have a place to come, to make them feel connected to the area.”

The Gallimaufry - Colin Moody

Fabulous Vintage 

Safiya's vintage clothes shop is one of the newer additions to the road, and she's excited to be part of the community.

“People love this place, we give great service. I’m Somali and have been in Bristol for 20 years and it was a big move for me to open. I’m keen to be a part of this street.”

Fabulous Vintage - Colin Moody

Alchemy 198

Quirky bar Alchemy 198 is another business focused on local creatives, with Bristol art on the walls, locally-sourced drinks and a regular line-up of community events.

Sarah Thorp, the driving force behind the bar and local gallery shop Room 212 is passionate about keeping her high street independent, alive and thriving. 

Alchemy - Colin Moody

FED 303

Charlotte Hawes and Ross Rawlings used to manage another cafe but decided to pursue a life-long dream and open photogenic cafe FED 303.

“We wanted to open a cafe together for ten years. This street is close to my heart. I’ve seen this street go from quiet to vibrant exiting and diverse: we found the premises on gumtree and snapped it up and did everything ourselves. It’s been so well recieved. We are a hub, a home from home, and I know 90% of people in the door. Cafes are the modern day pub now.” 

Fed303 - Colin Moody

Colab

Andrea Mahoney is the owner of this bright and colourful shop, showcasing the creations of local artists and makers.

“Having CoLab is really important to me as the shop is a way for independent artists, makers and designers to have have a voice and an outlet. I love supporting the talent that surrounds me. I want CoLab to be a way to show creativity in all its forms, from writing to sewing to painting. Being on Gloucester Road is great. I never imagined that I would feel so welcomed by not just the other shop owners but also local community that lives here, it really has its own unique feel which sets it apart from other places. I love what we have here and I hope that others love it too.”

COLAB - Colin Moody

Gloucestershire Cricket Ground

Pete Lamb from GCC introduced us to three local heroes: Rex Body, Wendy Body and Roger Gibbons.

“My interest was always in the history and especially the social history of the game” says Roger “and the lives of some of the older players, so listening to the curator of the old museum talking about some of the lesser known early Gloucestershire players always had me spellbound.”

“You don’t have to be keen on cricket to wonder at the sight of “gloves” reinforced with bits of bicycle tyre created by Gilbert Jessop over a hundred years ago to protect his hands” said Wendy Body of the GCCC Heritage Trust.

Pete Lamb adds, “We want everyone to feel a part of this club. We want to see more of the first timers coming down.” 

Gloucestershire Cricket Club - Colin Moody

Dave Giles Butchers 

A family business since opening in December 1990, Amy Osborne is the owner of Dave Giles Butchers since her father passed away a few years ago. 

“I love my job, I love working with the lovely people of Bishopston and beyond. We support the local industry by sourcing everything from Bristol, Somerset and Gloucester."

Giles Butchers - Colin Moody

Vincenzo and Sons

This family-run barbers shop has been on Gloucester Road for 52 years! Vincenzo came to the UK from Sicily with his barbering expertise in 1963, first living in London, but a harsh winter meant he nearly changed his mind and was about to pack up and go home. Luckily a friend said to try Bristol as it’s not so cold. He tried it and has never left.

Sons Franco and Giuseppe grew up in the barbershop observing their dad. On the 50th year of trading Vincenzo, his wife Pierina, sons and family friend Pino merged their shops under one roof bringing the family back together. 

Vincenzos - Colin Moody

Colin Moody's book on the traders of Gloucester Road will be released shortly, with a release exhibition at Alchemy 198. You can find his photo book on Stokes Croft & Montpelier in shops across Bristol, including the Tourist Information Centre.

You can see a few more of Colin's photos below, or follow his photography projects on his Instagram account

Read more:

Veg Shop - Colin Moody

Joe's Bakery - Colin Moody

Lana Barbers - Colin Moody

Ablelectrics - Colin Moody

KudaCan - Colin Moody

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