Redemption Roasters: Supporting Young Offenders

Redemption Roasters are on a mission to change lives through coffeeThey are committed to supporting young offenders to successfully reintegrate into society through professional-level barista training and job opportunities. Redemption Roasters achieved a coffee world first: opening a roastery in a prison run by young offenders in HMYOI Aylesbury. It was founded by Max Dubiel and Ted Rosner in 2016.

Redemption Roasters’ network of shops is rapidly expanding; there’s the flagship café is Lamb’s Conduit Street and recently (May 2018) the Long Lane, Farringdon café has opened. Plans are afoot for several more shops across the capital within the next year.

Trainees start by learning about coffee bean types and their origins, basic arithmetic skills, and how to use coffee grinders. After an exam, they are rewarded with their own barista kit, an apron and a tamper. They move onto a very modern Faema machine, are free to make their own drinks and continue to work on the roastery. When young offenders leave prison, they are fully equipped with professional coffee roasting and competition-level barista skills. Redemption Roasters provide a job in their shops or with one of their partner coffee shops. The whole training process is overseen by Head Roaster, Harry Graham, with over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry and a former prison guard and coffee connoisseur, Marc Wioland.

How has TRVST supported Redemption Roasters?

“TRVST has been brilliant at listening to what our current business needs are and finding relevant experts that are really interested in what we’re doing, very quickly.”

– Max, Co-Founder

2 people having a conversation at Redemption Roasters roastery at HYOI Aylesbury
Training in action at HYOI Aylesbury. Photo credit: Redemption Roasters

TRVST on Redemption Roasters:

Meet Max Dubiel and Ted Rosner; 2 guys on a mission to change the world and change the lives of young offenders through coffee.

“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.”- Flash Rosenbury, Cartoonist and performer

Since April 2016, they opened 2 stores, roast 3 tonnes of coffee a week and are a popular feature of London’s Coffee Festival (12-15 April). They get a lot done – and they’re super smart as well! They’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign (25th March -26th April 2018), here are some reasons why it’s well worth supporting.

Here in central London, there’s a coffee shop on every corner. And given half a chance, you’ll probably find me in one. Currently, my favourite is Redemption Roasters, run by Max and Ted. It wins hands down not only on the quality of its coffee but the fact they’ve achieved a coffee world first: opening a roastery in a prison run by young offenders in HMYOI Aylesbury.

Max and Ted spotted the gap in the UK artisan coffee market for highly skilled baristas and one of the retractable social ills of our time- youth imprisonment and stubbornly high youth reoffending rates.

Max and Ted already had a wholesale coffee business, Black Sheep Coffee, and were approached by HMYOI Aylesbury to start train inmates, but this idea quickly grew to the roastery business now known as Redemption Roasters. There’s a real focus on sustainably sourced coffee right now, often focused on where beans are grown and the working conditions of those international growers. Redemption Roasters take than one step further.

“74% of young offenders re-offend within 1 year of their release, but they are 50% less likely to re-offend if they leave with skills and a job.”

Redemption Roasters Training Programme

Through Redemption Roasters’ training programme, whilst in prison, young people are offered extensive training in every aspect of coffee making and roasting. It’s all undertaken at Redemption Roasters’ fully-equipped roastery at HMYOI Aylesbury. Trainees start by learning about coffee bean types and their origins, basic arithmetic skills, and how to use coffee grinders. After an exam, they are rewarded with their own barista kit, an apron and a tamper. They move onto a very modern Faema machine, are free to make their own drinks and continue to work on the roastery.

When young offenders leave prison, they are fully equipped with professional roasting and competition-level barista skills. Redemption Roasters provide a job in their shops or with one of their partner coffee shops. The whole training process is overseen by Head Roaster, Harry Graham, with over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry and a former prison guard and coffee connoisseur, Marc Wioland.

Being a world first has come at a cost; Max and Ted are quick to dismiss any suspicions of cheap or exploitive labour. All the trainees are paid for their work, in line with Ministry of Justice guidelines and given the restrictive nature of the prison environment, the costs of running the roastery is 3 times higher than a comparable commercial enterprise.

Redemption Roasters’ network of shops is rapidly expanding; their flagship café is Lamb’s Conduit Street and recently the Long Lane, Farringdon café has opened. Plans are afoot for several more shops across the capital soon within the next year.

The training’s quality and high-demand skills are one of the reasons for success says Laura Boyle, Head of Reducing Reoffending at HMYOI Aylesbury.

There’s a growing demand for their wholesale business to supply to top coffee shops and offices. Now, you can enjoy their coffee at home – They’ve just launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to make coffee pods suitable for home coffee machines (Back their campaign here)

“Redemption Roasters is a shining example of how the Prison Service works with our industry partners to teach skills in order to reduce reoffending. Through Redemption, the Apprentices receive top-level training in a state-of-the-art facility, gain real work experience and are introduced to employment opportunities on release. ” – Laura Boyle, Head of Reducing Reoffending at HMYOI Aylesbury.

The young people are equally passionate about their coffee:

“This coffee shop makes me happy to wake up early and get ready for work, its motivated me to learn more, and because of the person who mentored me I know with my skills and knowledge I can definitely get a job in a coffee shop because I know I learnt from the best “- A Trainee Barista

There’s a palpable sense of pride amongst the HMYOI Aylesbury trainees. This sense of ownership and pride is critical to the project’s success and the young people’s self-esteem and self-worth. Marc, one of the staff, echoes this sentiment, explaining “When you are in here, you are treated like an employee, not like a prisoner, because you are fulfilling a real – life job”.

Check our Redemption Roasters in Action:

See Redemption Roasters in action, changing the lives of young offenders:

London Coffee Festival on 12-15th Find their large stand on the lower floor. Details here

Lamb’s Conduit Street
Long Lane, Farringdon

Buy coffee for wholesale or for businesses: https://www.redemptionroasters.com/wholesale

Brighten up your day with coffee via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Further Inspiration:

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Ted is one of the founders of Redemption Roasters, founded in 2016. They support young offenders to successfully reintegrate into society through professional-level barista training and job opportunities. Redemption Roasters achieved a coffee world first: opening a roastery in a prison run by young offenders in HMYOI Aylesbury.
Max is one of of the founders of Redemption Roasters, founded in 2016. They support young offenders to successfully reintegrate into society through professional-level barista training and job opportunities. Redemption Roasters achieved a coffee world first: opening a roastery in a prison run by young offenders in HMYOI Aylesbury.
2 cafes opened
in London in 2018
108 backers
in 2018 crowdfunding campaign
£20,418 pledged
in 2018 crowdfunding campaign

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