UPDATE: September 2016

Russell Brand has donated the Trew Era Cafe to RAPt, the charity he is a Patron for, which provides recovery and employment opportunities to ex-prisoners and people struggling with addiction.
Trew Era Cafe becomes one of a group of ‘recovery enterprises’ supported by RAPt – independent businesses managed and staffed by people in recovery from addiction. The success of these enterprises demonstrates the potential of people in recovery to thrive in the workplace.
Russell Brand is an English comedian, actor, radio host, author, activist, and now a social entrepreneur and cafe owner.

Trew Era cafe, a social enterprise cafe staffed by recovering drug addicts, has been opened by Brand in Hoxton, East London. It has been funded initially by the profits of his book Revolution, but according to Brand it will be a “self-supporting economic enterprise”.

The cafe opened its doors for the first time on Thursday 26th March 2015, with Brand giving a short speech in front of a crowd of more than 100 people.

Russell Brand Opens a Social Enterprise Café in London

Russell Brand speaking on the opening day of the cafe

Food & Drink

Russell Brand Opens a Social Enterprise Cafe in London

A cappuccino costs £1.80

Caffe latte and cappuccino are both on sale for £1.80, tea is £1.40 and juices served in jars (all organic) are £4.  All are available for take away if you need to drink on the go, or if there is nowhere to sit in the small, busy cafe.

If you are hungry, Trew Era cafe have a few options, including a selection of delicious looking homemade cakes.

Russell Brand Opens a Social Enterprise Cafe in London

A tasty aubergine, spinach, feta and mint toasty for £5

The Atmosphere

There is a real family feel to the cafe. Despite being incredibly busy the staff are friendly and welcoming, and from conversations I had (and those I overheard!) it is clear the cafe is full of locals. If you are lucky enough to get a seat it is likely you will have to sit next to people you don’t know, and – despite being in London – the chances are you will end up chatting with the strangers sat by you.

Plans for the future

The Trew Era cafe is just the beginning.

During his opening day speech, Brand acknowledged that the cafe prices are higher than he would like. To bring the prices down and to provide more opportunities to people in recovery, Brand and his team plan to grow their own produce locally for the cafe.

Brand also plans to open more social enterprise cafes, saying: “We’ll start more and more of these social enterprises. Eventually, we will trade with one another in our own currency. We are going to create our own systems, our own federations, our own currencies, our own authorities … Politics is dead, this is the end of politics. What we are discussing now is what comes after. We have an opportunity to create something better and it will start with small enterprises such as this.

Watch Brand’s speech here:

What’s nearby

Russell Brand Opens a Social Enterprise Cafe in London

Regent’s Canal

Trew Era cafe is located at 30 Whitmore Road, Hoxton, London N1 5RS. It is in the New Era estate, which successfully campaigned against mass evictions and tripled rents last year – a campaign backed by Brand.

If you would like to visit but do not live locally the café is just a few minutes’ walk from Haggerston Station.

Some fun things you can do / places you can visit locally:

  • Regent’s canal: 13.8 kilometres (8.6 miles) long, the canal provides a link from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, just north-west of Paddington Basin in the west, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in East London.
  • Hackney City Farm: home to a range of farmyard animals including goats, sheep, chickens and donkeys as well as some small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Columbia Road Flower Market: open on Sundays only

For more information about Trew Era cafe please visit their Facebook page.

Check out some other awesome social enterprise cafes in London and beyondwe update this list regularly.

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.