Opened just over six months ago in Peckham, south London, the Old Spike Roastery is a little different to all the other indie coffee shops opening in gentrified corners of London. This cafe employs homeless and former homeless people. Its mission is to get them get back on their feet by providing them with training, paid employment, and other support such as housing and language lessons.
Excellent coffee roasted on the premises
The coffee is excellent – single origin, speciality beans, hand-roasted on the premises. Also on sale is bread from Breaking Bread in Nunhead (a social enterprise that employs ex-offenders), plus Crosstown doughnuts and brownies.
You don’t have to go to Peckham to drink their coffee. Their hand-roast is available to buy online – if you subscribe you get a fresh bag sent out every Thursday tailored to how you make your coffee at home. Every bag sold goes some way to helping a homeless person get back on their feet.
Founded by childhood friends Cemal Ezel and Richard Robinson, both local to the Peckham area, the inspiration for the social aspect of the enterprise came from Cemal visiting the Reaching Out teahouse in Hoi An which employs waitresses with hearing loss. Richard was inspired to roast coffee in-house after spending three years in the caffeine-fueled city of New York.
So next time you’re in Peckham, drop in for a coffee and say hello. You may meet Lucy, their first trainee barista who is now working at Old Spike after the founders saw her selling the Big Issue outside London Bridge station.
Old Spike Roastery is open Mon-Fri 7.30am to 3pm, and Sat-Sun 9.30am to 5pm. Find them at 54 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR.
For more details, including how to buy their coffee online, visit www.oldspikeroastery.com