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Be Strong Part 1: Coffee as a force for good


What does it really mean to be strong? What does Being Strong mean to you?

We’ve come to the conclusion that these are questions with many answers.

We put a lot of emphasis on team and community here at Extract. At work we feel at our strongest when we’re working together, supporting each other.

These experiences of coming together as a team and volunteering with Hotel School & Empire Fighting Chance have taught us that strength and resilience come in all shapes and sizes.

This year, as part of our focus on Strong People, we’ve called upon friends of Extract to share what Be Strong means to them. We’ll be sharing their thoughts in a series of blog posts this Autumn.

“People who come to Hotel School will usually have experienced some barriers which has impacted on them being able to get into meaningful work. Some students who enter the programme will have experienced major challenges, like being homeless or in insecure accommodation, or not worked for a very long time.

We are constantly in awe of the students that come back day after day; enthusiastic, keen to learn & try new things. It demonstrates an amazing amount of strength and resilience to be willing to start over and stick with something. It is a constant source of inspiration (& strength!) to the team at Hotel School.”

Zoe Minihan, at The Passage & Hotel School

Photography by Richard Harris

Photography courtesy of Hotel School

Photography by Richard Harris

Working with Hotel School unearthed a passion in us

Since 2017 we have had the privilege of getting to know students and graduates from Hotel School by sharing our knowledge and passion for coffee through barista training.

Support has grown from barista training to work experience placements and has seen Extract team members, Ben, Harrison, Olly and Chris receive training to become mentors to Hotel School graduates.

“Working with the Hotel School has been nothing but a privilege from day one, as it is by far one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of my job. It’s also certainly the most humbling.

Understandably there is a myriad of stories we hear as to why the students fell homeless and vulnerable in the first place which can’t help but ground you, but what it also means is that these people are the most pleasurable to teach, because they’re so hungry for it.

Their entire future depends on what and where they can go to after they have completed the ten-week course, which means as students, they are the most enthusiastic, engaged students we teach. As a team this unanimously inspired us right from the first cohort, to help as many of these students into work as possible, which is why it was a no brainer to also become mentors for some of these incredible people, who have made it through some terrible ordeals but are fighting strong to make it in a world we often take for granted.”

Harrison Laird, South East Regional Manager at Extract Coffee Roasters

Our work continues…

Barista training and mentorship has continued with Hotel School throughout 2019. Seeing graduates progress into barista roles has been amazing. We’ve spent time sharing this story with partners and customers to secure more job opportunities for Hotel School graduates at cafes, canteens and restaurants across London.

Tell me more about Grounds Up

Community is one of our core values, whether that’s working with our farmers across the globe to help improve the conditions of their local community or simply supporting the power of coffee in connecting people closer to home. We know it’s not enough to just make great coffee. Grounds Up is a collective of charity partners and community projects which are supported by Extract Coffee Roasters, grass-roots projects in the communities we work in. It’s something we are incredibly proud of.

Read Part Two here

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