London coffee shop, Change Please, might take card, but it’s all about the change.
“A coffee shop?” we hear you mournfully scoff. “What’s so good about a coffee shop? There are literally thousands of those in London.” And yes, ok, you’re right – pretty much every major street in the capital is littered with big names like Nero, Pret and Starbucks. While most of the smaller streets are lined with quirky, independent coffee shops where you have to pay £7 for someone to basically ritualise the beans before they’ll grind them up and serve them to you.
But, Change Please is different. This tiny coffee chain may look small, but we think it’s pretty mighty.
Change Please is part of a social enterprise project that aims to aid the homeless crisis in London. These mostly mobile coffee shops have been popping up more frequently over the city and have, since opening in 2015, made a monumental impact to so many people’s lives.
Hoping to help homeless people get themselves off the street by training them as baristas, Change Please offers staff a 40-hour working week and a job that pays the London Living Wage.
Helping their staff to find their own accommodation, improve their mental health and rediscover their sense of community, Change Please is so much more than just a place to pick up your skinny latte as you whizz off to work.
Considering homelessness has doubled since 2010 in the UK, enterprises like these are utterly essential and supporting them is so easy. We all know that changing the world first thing on a Monday morning seems like a pretty tall order, but changing where you buy your coffee is pretty easy. Change Please does all the hard work for you, all you have to do is order.
And trust us, that warm cup of joe is bound to taste a little better knowing that it’s actually doing some good in the world. Staffed by the homeless to help the homeless, it seems as though Change Please are really onto a winning business model.
With coffee carts and stations set up in Borough Market, Elephant Park, Canary Wharf, Here East, and Peckham, you’re bound to find one not too far from you. If your usual route doesn’t take you past any of these places, look out for Change Please’s coffee blends next time you’re in Sainsbury’s or order some from their website.
Ultimately, if you’re a fan of coffee and you’d like the world to be a better place, then grab your morning caffeine fix somewhere that could really make a difference. Who knew that changing the world would taste so good?
Check out their newest initiative Driving for Change, which offers mobile care to the homeless inside transformed buses.
Also published on Medium.