Big Issue vendors are to start selling espressos and cappuccinos in a bid to cash in on the takeaway coffee market.
A new coffee brand, backed by the Big Issue magazine and sold by people who used to be homeless, is being launched in central London today, with plans to roll it out across the capital.
Change Please coffee will initially be sold from eight carts in several areas, such as Covent Garden and Borough.
Cemal Ezel, co-founder of Old Spike Roastery – which is partnering the scheme – described it as a “win-win” situation as Change Please will serve up premium, ethically sourced coffee while giving the staff a fresh chance of a career. Baristas will be paid the London living wage, allowing them to develop the skills and experience needed to enter the mainstream workforce after six months.
To begin with, about six staff will be brewing up and serving the £2.50 cups of coffee from the back of the three-wheeled vans. This should rise to about 12 staff during the month.
Organisers hope they have found a way to help tackle the housing problem. Mr Ezel said: “We guarantee that this programme will make a significant contribution to helping alleviate the homeless problem across the country – if we can get a small proportion of coffee drinkers to simply change where they buy their coffee, we really could change the world.”
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