“So there was lots of working around these nooks and crannies, and I love a nook and cranny. There’s nothing better than a wobbly corner that’s been there forever and you’ve just embraced it to make it a piece of art in the corner of a building.”
We’re in great company with Geetie Singh-Watson, founder and owner of The Bull Inn, nestled in the English riverfront town of Totnes, where she brings her storied experience in organic cuisine and living to her eclectic, radical and ethical pub and hotel.
From growing up in a socially and environmentally conscious commune, to working in a deceiving hospitality industry, Geetie was inspired to open the first certified organic pub in the world, in London. After falling in love with a farmer and moving to the countryside town of Totnes, Geetie set her sights on renovating and restoring The Bull Inn. Come 2019, she opened its doors to nine beautiful rooms, a self catered, four-bed apartment across the road and a truly supplier led, organic restaurant.
In this episode, Geetie shares with the perfect blend of humility and passion, how her business follows the planet, people, profit ethos, governing what her team buys, how they trade, and how they work as a collective to deliver on this promise.
[1:25] How growing up in a commune gave Geetie a sense of fight and passion for the countryside.
[3:45] From introducing the First Organic Pub to the world back in 1998…
[7:50] To bearing witness to “Food Citizens'' demand for how society is now built around food…organic, seasonal, values driven, fair trade.
[11:42] After many years introducing London to a warmer style of hospitality and a better way of eating, a farmer draws Geetie back to the countryside of Devon.
[13:43] Never wanting to be wasteful, what it was about the rundown Bull Inn that excited Geetie of its potential.
[17:28] Geetie is stubborn like a bull when it comes to preserving the history of the name and the character of the building.
[20:49] “In order for people to create a self belief that they can live a really ecologically balanced lifestyle, they have to experience the pleasure you can get out of it.”
[23:02] Whether you come into the pub in your muddy boots or sit at the bar in your high heeled shoes, everyone’s welcome.
[24:55] What makes the “No Bull Rules” to work, to dine and to trade by so noble while ensuring there’s no bull sh*t.
[33:50] The creativity it takes to prove even historical buildings can be rebuilt to live sustainably.
[37:00] How Geetie and her husband have built The Baddaford Collective, a community of chefs and growers around Totnes.
[41:20] The intentional gathering space for community change makers and craftsmen and women created in the Albatross.
[59:10] A few final words about the pleasure behind the hospitality that makes The Bull Inn what it is today and what fuels Geetie to continue to create spaces and conversations like this.