A parched Obiter popped into the Kings Cross branch of Redemption Roasters, the world’s first prison-based coffee company, for a cuppa last week. The company describes itself as a speciality coffee outfit that believes it can reduce reoffending in the UK through provision of that perky beverage. All the coffee therein is roasted inside the walls of HMP The Mount, and the company’s network of barista academies operates in justice sector institutions across the land. Obiter was lucky enough to grab the only free table and peruse the menu, which proudly boasts that for every £1 invested in Redemption Roasters, £3.47 has been generated in social value.
Obiter watched dozens of customers grab a coffee and lunch ‘to go’ in the hour we spent enjoying a glorious brew.
Redemption Roasters says it wants to show the coffee community and the world ‘that a positive commercial environment can be created behind bars and that exceptional speciality coffee can come from places and people you wouldn’t expect’.
Justice secretary Dominic Raab has been keen to champion the benefits of giving offenders a second chance. Perhaps his plans could include investing in a few more branches of Redemption Roasters?