Class of 2021
To Ted Rosner and Max Dubiel, coffee means opportunity. They began building a successful sourcing and roasting business after meeting at St Andrew’s University, Scotland, and saw a gap in the market for a coffee company that does things simply and fairly.
This begins with the people they buy their beans from and ends with a carbon-neutral roasting process. Along the way, they have uncovered a way to give new skills to a group often left behind in society. A chance meeting with a prison executive at a coffee festival led them to offer barista training classes in Aylesbury Prison, England. This evolved to creating eight in-custody barista academies and five penitentiary-based roasting facilities. Redemption Roasters is now five years old and is being rolled out in prisons up and down the UK.
In England, only 36% of prisoners find work within two years of being released. When former inmates do find work, they are 50% less likely to reoffend. The Redemption Roasters education and employment programme aims to challenge assumptions about ex-offenders by offering them the opportunity to re-invent themselves as well as a second chance to begin a career and, in turn, start a new life. As coffee is the start to much of the world’s working day, so too is it the beginning of a new life to those involved with the programme.
“What our company does at its core is inherently pretty innovative. No other full-service coffee company is currently roasting in a prison. So, the focus is on expanding our reach: more shops, more wholesale and more education academies. This will result in more outcomes for our beneficiaries as well as a better bottom line.” – Ted Rosner