As I’ve explained before on the ‘cafespaces’ blog, the coffee and coffee shop industries have the potential to impact various communities; an important route for doing so is through the activities of social enterprises.
A great example is Well Grounded, is a specialty coffee training academy based in East London which focuses in helping people struggling to find work. Established in 2016 by the current CEO Eve Wagg, the community interest company, has been providing training based on an educational framework to support the development of skills needed to work in the coffee shop industry, and to secure employment.
I was fortunate enough to meet some of the most recent graduates of Well Grounded’s specialty coffee training academy at a pop-up barista event to celebrate their graduate. The event held at La Marzocco in London, allowed the recent graduates to demonstrate their new skills to an audience of employers, other Well Grounded graduates and team members, plus a range of other coffee professionals. Before the graduation of the most recent cohort of trainees, there was a talk by the founder Eve Wagg, explaining the educational approach to the training that takes place through Well Grounded as well as presentations by other graduates explaining their personal journeys and the impact of their training.
On talking with some of the recent Well Grounded graduates it was clear that they had a lot of passion, about coffee, but also about developing their skills, and getting the skills they needed to find a job they could be passionate about. On both the espresso bar and brew bar the Well Grounded crew were both informative and enthusiastic; the training not only appears to have provided excellent coffee making skills, but the confidence to work in a busy environment.
The team at Well-Grounded are doing a fantastic job of providing training opportunities for people who may otherwise find it difficult to find employment; improving livelihoods as well as enriching the coffee shop industry with lots of passionate individuals ready to use their training in the world of work.