Mike Murphy. Photo by Lia Crowe

Secrets and Lives – The Seven Sins

Restaurant owner Mike Murphy loves his food

  • Mar. 1, 2021 11:30 a.m.

– Story by Angela Cowan Photography by Lia Crowe

Five Minutes into our conversation and it’s hard to imagine someone who loves food more than Mike Murphy, the deep-voiced, friendly and straight-shooting owner of 10 Acres Farm and its three associated restaurants.

A fixture in the restaurant business since he was 15, Mike’s had a hand in growing more than a few hot spots in Victoria. Most recently, he opened up 10 Acres at the Pier, as well as the cafe and market, after taking over the spot from Haro’s last year and undertaking extensive renovations.

“Logistically, it made sense. We can share a lot of the food prep between restaurants,” he says, referencing The Kitchens and The Commons, his two other eateries on opposite sides of the same block in downtown Victoria. “Living out here already, and being familiar with the area, it made sense to have a restaurant less than four kilometres from the farm.”

The “farm” is 10 Acres Farm, which is—unsurprisingly—10 acres in the heart of the Saanich Peninsula and a veritable bread basket for the South Island. As well as growing many of the vegetables and herbs for all three restaurants, the farm also raises swine, ducks and chickens. It has up to 1,100 fruit-bearing trees and vines, says Mike, including a recent addition of 300 Devon cider apple trees, for a near-future cider expansion. Other future plans include putting in a full-scale bakery, increasing meat processing capabilities, making on-site ice cream and much more.

It’s a way to ensure the highest level of quality possible. When everything is made by hand, with the best possible ingredients, the product is naturally top tier, whether that end result is freshly baked bread, locally raised and fed pork, expertly pressed cider or abundant and healthy fresh fruit and veg.

Listening to Mike, it’s clear that sustainability and quality are top of the priority list for every level of his business, from composting every scrap that comes back from the restaurants, to stewing up their own feed for the Ossabaw swine raised on the farm, and even encouraging government to revisit regulations that would allow for local meat processing to cut down on both the environmental footprint and the cost of meat, as well as improving the welfare of the animals.

But whether he’s planning out the next steps for the farm, or brainstorming how to grow agri-tourism on the peninsula, or expanding the selection of take-home meals available at the market, Mike’s looking forward to the future.

“You can’t plan for a year like 2020,” he says, reflecting on opening 10 Acres at the Pier last summer. “We’re quite looking forward to this year, with things getting back to normal. Every single thing that comes up next year is going to have to be celebrated, and I think we’re all looking forward to it.”

The 7 Sins

Envy:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

Anthony Bourdain. He embodied the humanity and empathy of the industry, and both he and Parts Unknown will be missed. Such a tragic end… I was heartbroken.

Gluttony:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

Pasta, with simple, quality ingredients that allow the noodles to shine. A pappardelle with mushrooms or a spaghetti with Manila clams are two favourites, but most cultures embrace some rendition of a noodle or dumpling in their cooking.

Greed:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

I would probably set out to purchase some of the outstanding classics I owned when I was younger, starting with an Austin-Healy 100-4 that I bought from Rudi Koniczek’s Autohaus on Newport Avenue when I was in high school.

Wrath:

Pet peeves?

Littering. Since when has that become fashionable again? The government might not have thought it through when they took away ashtrays; the result is people who still smoke have nowhere to put their butts, and often leave them on the street, from where they often end up in the ocean.

Sloth:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

I love to be in cities and hang out in cafes and coffee shops. I can spend hours at a time in them, and two favourites are New York City and Montreal. But the West Coast has fabulous cafe culture too. It’s where you really get the fabric of the people.

Pride:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?

Finishing the New York Times crossword, sudoku and Spelling Bee on a weekend day before I finish my second cup of coffee.

Lust:

What makes your heart beat faster?

A warm, sunny day, driving my car with the top down and the right music playing on the stereo, next to my girl, and on a road trip adventure to somewhere we’ve never been.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

FoodLifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The board is planning a 2021 festival no matter the conditions, they are going to make it work! (BCMF directors Buddy Thatcher (from left), Kristen Boulier, Rose Clark, Jeff Gray, Corissa McNeilly and Jayme Kennedy (front), and her hair. (photo submitted)
Bella Coola Music Festival planning on 2021 fest

The BCMF is planning for a 2021 festival on July 17 and 18, however it may look.

The Lost Lake trail is a popular hike for locals and visitors for it's accessibility (Khya Saban photo)
LETTER: Lost Lake trailhead trees shouldn’t be cut down

The area is slated to be cut by the Bella Coola Community Forest

Easter is on Sunday, April 4, 2021. How much do you know about Easter history and traditions? (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz about Easter and its traditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read