Our series of photographic portraits by Neill Menneer shows Bath people at work
I’m a Londoner and was born and brought up in Chelsea. My first job was in financial services providing asset backed loans. I met Anna, my future wife, who was based in Bristol in the same company and we decided to move out of town to start a family. We ended up in Limpley Stoke as Bath was too expensive and our children Seba and Caspar were born there.
I’m a romantic I guess and we decided to search for our own The Good Life and become more self sufficient. To this end we bought a plot of land and an old house in Morchard Bishop in Devon. Actually, I was mainly inspired by Hugh Fernley-Whatsisname and his programme River Cottage which painted a picture of pastoral bliss. The reality was anything but as our years in the country were very challenging. At any time you might be called to rescue the pigs who had escaped or the hundred and one things demanded of a livestock farmer. It was all a bit ‘tractor bottoms and wellies’ and also a very isolated existence.
Although the children’s school was a mile away it was a country mile and we never really lived in a community as such. Eventually we both got cabin fever and I left for Bath to search for different possibilities. I lived on a canal boat for a while and worked in recruitment. It’s a young man’s game and I specialised in food manufacturing, as a result of which I became a dedicated and enthusiastic vegan.
I have set up a super food powder business selling my own mixes and concoctions. This is to help vegans and other people. The idea is that you can buy any number of organic supplements and add them to your smoothies and drinks. We can mix up five of your favourite seeds, greens, fruit, protein or ayurveda powders into a 1kg bag and deliver to your door (website is: absolutelysuperfoods.co.uk).
The courier job gives me the flexibility I need and it satisfies my other passion of cycling. These companies provide a real service as it has completely expanded the range and number of restaurants that can offer a take-away service. In the old days you could only get Indians and Chinese but now customers can order from Jamie’s, Carluccio’s and Wagamamma’s.
Companies like the one I work for are part of the new gig economy and the Uberfication of work where apps have replaced traditional ways of bringing companies and people together. It suits me as I now have time to develop my other business ideas.
The Absolutely Super Foods business takes up much of my time and I am presently developing a new bespoke courier service based around green delivery systems. In other words providing local food or other needs to local customers by bike. I will offer this service to small businesses throughout the Bath area and at £3 a pop it will be very cost effective.
I love Bath as there’s always a buzz around and as I’ve learnt I’m clearly a city boy at heart.