Mike Murphy. Photo by Lia Crowe

Secrets and Lives – The Seven Sins

Restaurant owner Mike Murphy loves his food

  • Mar. 1, 2021 12:30 p.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

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Splatsin First Nation concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, will struggle to recover without habitat protection and restoration action - report

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Five-year-old Bayne Krause poses for a photo with his mom Marianne. Bayne’s shirt reads, ‘I have Cystic Fibrosis. Help keep me healthy, please social distance.’ Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay mom promotes awareness of cystic fibrosis

Marianne Krause wants people to know what it’s like for her five-year-old son to live with CF

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

B.C. Auditor General Michael Pickup in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. didn’t effectively manage conservation lands program: auditor general

Michael Pickup says staff had limited approaches to resolving the unauthorized use of the most at-risk conservation lands

Google
Threats against Kamloops school forces a hold and secure

The threats were made against Brock Middle School

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A black bear, dubbed Huckleberry by Deep Cove, B.C., residents died on July 31, 2020, after becoming conditioned to food and humans. (North Shore Black Bear Society photo)
Fewer dead bears, more fines: Advocates call for B.C. conservation officer reform

B.C. Bear Alliance wants to see body cameras on conservation officers after more than 600 black bears were killed this past year

Friends Fraser O'Brien, Chris and Ben Reinhardt and Youngbin Kim enjoy a game of hockey on Okanagan Lake off Kin Beach this past winter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Synthetic ice scores outdoor rink applause from Vernon

A new year-round rink could make its way to Polson, Kin Beach or Kin Racetrack

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

Most Read