The launch of the first ‘street’ magazine by the Big Issue was not only revolutionary for the publishing industry, it was an entirely new way to help the homeless. But, the magazine industry is changing. Great content is constantly available online, and the number of free publications handed out on the streets is ever increasing. With this in mind we approached The Big Issue with an innovative idea to help tackle homelessness.
The £8 billion coffee industry in the UK is booming. An individual might purchase a magazine once a fortnight, but easily buys multiple coffees every week.
Tap into the nations’ thirst for coffee; provide people who are homeless with accomodation, the skills and equipment to sell great coffee.
We believe that if we could get people to just change where they buy their coffee, we really can change the world.
We developed the name and brand from scratch. Change Please is designed to be highly distinctive in a market of bold and familiar brands. The name comes down to what we want people to do.
To stand up to the competition a sub-standard product was not an option, and we were tremendously fortunate to meet Cemal Ezel. He launched the Old Spike Roastery in Peckham, a coffee shop to help homeless people in the community, where they roast and sell fantastic quality, great tasting, coffee.
We have worked with local councils and charities to find our first team of eight baristas. They are housed as part of the programme, paid London Living Wage and provided with ongoing training and support. After six months in the programme they will be offered employment by one of our partners, allowing Change Please to help the new group of people to get back on their feet.
In just over two years of trading, we have sold over 4 million cups of coffee across our 32 outlets. We also have 3SKUs of our beans listed in Sainsbury’s nationwide. We turned a profit inside a year and continue to go from strength to strength. 100% of the profit is put back into growing the initiative and helping more people