Bear continues to grow with the aim of putting more focus on local produce

The Bear, Rochdale Road, Todmorden. Photo by Joby Catto.
The Bear, Rochdale Road, Todmorden. Photo by Joby Catto.

A cafe is putting even more focus on local organic food after expanding its premises.

The Bear Cafe, which has occupied the first floor of Todmorden’s historic co-operative building on Rochdale Road for several years, has now adopted the ground floor shop within the premises after the co-operative company which had previously managed the shop ceased trading.

With the cafe continuing to thrive, owner Rhian Warhurst decided to take the shop under her wing.

“I took over running the cafe five years ago, and undertook a complete refurbishment, restoring many of the original features,” she said.

“Customers have welcomed the changes to the cafe, and I also believe they recognise how we are looking to support local food producers, and are very keen to support the investment in the community which this represents.”

The Bear shop aims to source and stock as much local produce from Todmorden and the surrounding area as it can.

This includes cheeses from Pextenement Cheese Company, fresh cordials from Mr. Fitzpatrick’s, beers from Little Valley Brewery, artisan breads from The Bakehouse in Cragg Vale, and vegetables from Incredible Farm in Walsden and The Bear’s own plot of land.

“Customers are definitely keen to see more of this, and that is our vision for The Bear - to make all of this wonderful local produce available to everyone in the local community and beyond,” Rhian said.

The café has been an unofficial hub for Todmorden’s Incredible Edible movement since it was formed six years ago.

Now “vegetable tourists” from all over the world rest to drink coffee and eat cake after an Incredible Green Route tour.

Mary Clear, who chairs the Incredible Edible community group, said: “Our dream is nearly complete. For six years we have focused on getting people talking about the importance of local food.

“Now besides our fantastic market we have another local retailer on the flat, right in the heart of our town.

“The Bear has been a part of the Incredible Edible story, allowing us a place to meet and make the magic happen.”