Lonely Planet Writer

This East London café employs homeless people as baristas

East London is synonymous with trendy twentysomethings, hip cafes, and restaurants, but often there’s a little more substance to it all.

Second Shot in Bethnal Green is a café and social enterprise that makes a point of hiring homeless people as baristas in an effort to change people’s perception of homelessness in London.

The café is inspired by an initiative known as Café by Crisis that seeks to give people living on the streets catering skills for employment.

Speaking to Munchies, Julius Ibrahim, the owner of the café explained what had motivated them to start Second Shot.

“We wanted to change the way that people view social enterprises and homelessness,”he explains. “I hope that people will come in, have a coffee, enjoy the space, and then realise that we have this amazing social back-up.”

Ibrahim has a background in social work and a degree from UCL.

Second Shot pays its employees the London Living Wage and it doesn’t plan to be a long-term solution, moreover, it seeks to be a launch pad to rehabilitate people into working life.

Whilst it’s a social enterprise, Second Shot is situated in the heart of hip East London, and is furnished with distressed upcycled furniture and serves specialty coffee that comes in Aeropress, Chemex, and V60 forms.

The combination of trendy and charitable sounds like a winner to us.