The Coffee House that cuts Crime: Redemption Roasters

These baristas were once behind bars... until they found a social enterprise that helped them turn their lives around
Photo credit: Here Design

There’s a chic new coffee space coming to one of Central London’s hot spots: EC1, Farringdon. It’s called Redemption Roasters, already has a spot at Lambs Conduit in the West of the City and its passion, alongside great coffee, is tackling one of the most insidious ills of our age: reoffending.

The story here is pretty amazing, a real testament to the power of partnership. Here’s the science bit, courtesy of Redemption Roasters:

We already know that prisoners are 50% more likely to reoffend if they leave prison without skills and a job. And we definitely know that to roast specialty coffee, people need exceptional skills.

Enter Redemption Roasters. We were approached by the Ministry of Justice to help address the state of reoffending by running our roastery and barista training centre at Aylesbury Prison.

The story of Redemption Roasters is compelling. Here we have a successful business that is expanding, and a worthwhile government partnership that is doing good, all in one package.  This is testament to the power of the idea behind Redemption Roasters and the success of those involved: the directors and staff and ex-prisoners who have come together to build something brilliant and really capture the public imagination.

The environment of the Lambs Conduit shop is open and welcoming. Appropriately artisanal industrial benches usher you in to a space where the warm aromas of barista-beans permeate the central London bustle.

Alongside the coffee you have an array of sandwiches and pastries, as well as Millennial (and GOtilo) favourites like smashed avo on toast.

Customer repost from @atalldrinkofcoffee 🥑🍞☕ … Perfumy batch brews and avo toast (because there’s no more avo at home 😭). Okay so I know there’s much controversy around the use of batch brew machines (because it’s bulk-produced and there’s historically been taste/quality issues) but surely it’s good that we work on perfecting anything that allows us to make a whole lotta yummy coffee in one go. I mean, you guys know about my caffeine addiction right?! 😂 – – – – #anyexcuseforbreakfast #redemptionroasters #londoncityguide #londonfoodguide #londonsbestcoffee #londonlovescoffee #londoncoffeeguide #londoncoffeeshops #londoncaffeineshots #cafesaroundtheworld #coffeeshopsoftheworld #howiseemycoffee #coffeefromabove #vibesandcoffee #onthetable #onmytable #coffeeshoptabletop #caffeinecouture #theculturetrip #☕ #foodonfleek #eeeeeats #forkyeah #coffeexample #spoonfeed #beanhunter #espressohit #myfab5 #londonbrunchguide #breakfastlondon

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But you know how it is: a place like this stands or falls, ultimately on the quality of its coffee. This, I am pleased to report, is where Redemption Roasters takes it up a notch. From thick, creamy lattes, bodacious flat whites,  to airy, diaphanous capuccinos, to an espresso as taut and sharp as a rapier on the thigh, this is a coffee paradise. Vegan options with non-dairy milk are available as well.

The social mission is serviced by every aspect of the business. All coffee is ethically sourced. Ex-offenders are trained in  professional roasting and competition-level barista skills while inside. They roast speciality coffee in small batches for wholesale and retail customers, and run a café for the prison community and visitors in Aylesbury prison, which trains them for real world jobs. On their release, Redemption Roasters help their ex-offenders find work in the coffee industry, where placements in their own shops are not available. There is Redemption Roasters merchandise as well:

Redemption Roasters is a London staple and I am delighted to see that they are extending their franchise into Farringdon. Think about all the folks helped through the work they do: not only the ex-prisoners who get their lives back on track, but others in our society, who are not harmed or no longer hurt as a result of reoffending that Redemption Roasters’ work helps prevent. We are talking about mass social impact here, on multiple levels, growing and thriving right before our eyes.

This is the great thing about social enterprises: when they grow, we all grow. Now let’s luxuriate in the warmth of Redemption Roaster’s continuing success and the smell of great coffee working its way across our City.


Ex-offendersFoodSocial Enterprise Cafe Culture