Four Social Enterprise Cafes In London You Need To Know About
It’s no secret that your can find some truly great cafes all over London, but these social enterprise and community cafes are worth your attention — for all the good that they’re doing, and all the baked goods and coffees that they make. Here are some of the social enterprise and community London cafes doing good while serving great cafe classics that should be on your radar.
42 Hanbury St, London E1 5JL
Canvas Cafe is a favourite of mine, providing quality coffee courtesy of Redemption Roasters (more on them below!), as well as refreshing homemade lemonades, loose leaf teas, and even cocktails. Canvas also have a fully vegan menu, including a full all-day breakfast with bagels, sourdough toast, and of course, a full English. Canvas are a community hub, investing in local charities and enterprises. Their pay-it-forward scheme has meant that the cafe is a space for homeless people to get a hot meal, and their weekly food bank supports those who are in need of essentials.
Various locations across London
Redemption Roasters are the world’s first-prison based coffee roasters. Based inside HMP The Mount, prisoners are trained to roast coffee, and the scheme is committed to helping offenders reintegrate into society following release — and employment is one of the best ways for this. In fact, prisoners are 50% more likely to reoffend if they leave prison without skills or a job. In a bid to give prisoners another chance and help in the rehabilitation process, graduates of the prison Redemption programme are found jobs within their coffee shops, or with partners of the scheme. Redemption Roasters are found across london, with cafes in Islington, Bloomsbury, Holborn, Dulwich, Kings Cross and Farringdon, and you’ll be met with fresh coffees and a range of tasty cakes and pastries.
71-73 Allen Rd, London N16 8RY, (Stoke Newington)
47 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AJ (Camden)
If you’re always on the hunt for a good pastry or cake, make your way over to Luminary Bakery. You’ll go wild for their vegan victoria sponge, and it would mistake not to take one of their plant-based peanut cookies home with you. Luminary Bakery is dedicated to providing training, work experience and jobs within the bakery for women who face societal and economic disadvantages and victims of gender-based violence. Offering training and trauma-informed support, Luminary helps women break the cycle of poverty and help turn their lives around.
64 Commercial St, London E1 6LT
This list would be incomplete if we left Cafe From Crisis out of it. An East London institution at this point, Cafe from Crisis provides great coffee (using their own beans), alongside tasty sandwiches, hearty soups, and lovely little cakes and pastries with plant-based options. Crisis is, of course, a charity supporting those who are homeless, and the cafe works to help people learn skills in hospitality and train them as baristas or in the kitchen, where they can gain qualifications and support. Lots of trainees are also ex-offenders, providing support and rehabilitation similar to Redemption.
3 Honor Oak Park, London SE23 1DX
My Jamii Cafe works to support and empower young people in the local community, and are doing fantastic things for youth in and around South East London. Working with young people of different physical abilities and mental health challenges, Jamii trains and develops young people to work within the catering and hospitality industry. You’ll find vegan bakes, including an extremely more-ish vegan chocolate cake that has your name written all over it.
By Toni Olukiran
Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.