Redemption Roasters

Redemption Roasters

Redemption Roasters 2560 1707 Karishma Puri

Redemption Roasters: Behind the Bar

With its immaculately decorated Scandinavian-inspired interior, Redemption Roasters blends right into the high-end bustling high street of South End Road, just across from Hampstead Heath Overground Station. Sitting opposite the southwestern stretch of the heath, the coffee shop is a major hub for social life on the high street, primarily catering for those walking to take a break and have a quality cup of coffee.

For a business which brands itself as “the world’s first prison-based coffee company”, the lush high street is a far cry from life behind bars. All of their coffee is roasted and processed in Her Majesty’s Prisons, where they also run their behind-bars training scheme, which then goes on to employ graduates after their release.

Max Dubiel, the founder, tells us that the company became involved in the program by pure chance. “It just fell into our lap… We previously had a wholesale brand, and were approached by someone from the Ministry of Justice who was looking for barista trainers.” From there the programme developed into Redemption Roasters, which now has 10 chain stores across London, with around 24% of their retail staff coming from the programme.

Man sat in on bench in coffee shop

“It’s a social job, and that social aspect is so important for the reintegration of former offenders.”

Max Dubiel, Redemption Roasters founder

Due to their location across from the Heath, the Hampstead branch served a vital service during the pandemic. “People would take any excuse they can to get out during lockdown. Often that was grabbing a coffee to take away and taking a walk on the Heath.” Max sees this social function of the coffee shop as serving a greater purpose, not just for customers, but their staff, “It’s a social job, and that social aspect is so important for the reintegration of former offenders”.

Inside the shop, amid the chattering crowds, it’s clear that, as Max put it “Social spaces and creating community is at the heart of what we do”.

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