We’re excited to announce that we have opened the doors of our new venture, the e5 Roasthouse cafe and coffee roastery at Poplar Union.
Along with roasting coffee, we are making flatbreads, and serving breakfast, lunch, cakes and pastries. Our lunch options are inspired by flavours from the Mediterranean and Levant regions, and continue to be organic and sustainably sourced where possible.
The Roasthouse is collaborating with the Refugee Council to provide employment and training for refugees, and 30% of profits from e5 Roasthouse will support refugee organisations.
REFUGEE BAKING PROGRAMME
In 2015 refugees in a magnitude of 1.3 million civilians arrived to Europe, primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afganistan seeking Asylum. This sparked a great deal of debate as countries in Europe struggled to know how to deal with the crisis, and created divisions in terms of how to resettle the displaced people.
As widespread media reports covered the Syrian crisis, and as the situation in Calais worsened, everyone at the bakery became increasingly aware of wanting to help in small way, and so when the Refugee Council contacted us to ask if we would host the JustBread training prorramme for refugees we happy to provide a welcome place for refugees to learn new skill and meet friends. The first Just Bread program took place at in March 2015, in collaboration with the Refugee Council. The simple idea of the refugee bread class is to help refugee or asylum seekers to integrate through the amazing power of food and sourdough bread.
For 10 weeks, 10 refugee trainees come to our bakery on Tuesdays and learn about sourdough bread along with the different section of the bakery, our kitchen lunch service, pastry section, coffee, butter, jam making and flour milling.
We are currently running the 5th class, and it’s definitely been a steep learning curve. The trainees have been bringing an amazing positive energy at the bakery. They are really curious, kind and open to our staff and their knowledge. It is also, for us, an extraordinary way of discovering new food cultures.
Not surprisingly many of the participants are in a vulnerable position. They are under a huge amount of stress in a new country that is not necessarily showing the warmest welcome and we hope these classes are providing some way of connecting people as well as building confidence and skills for employment.
For each cohort of trainees, we have also been trying to organise some event or projects to allow the trainees to have access to employment after completing the course. For example we ran a pop up food stall at Secret Cinema two years in a row, staffed by participants from the program.
In September 2017, E5 opened a new café called E5 Roasthouse, situated in Poplar Union, a community arts centre. One of our aims for opening the new cafe is to provide employment for women who have taken part in the bread class training. At e5 Roasthouse, we are producing sourdough flatbreads. A trainee called Elsa is making about 200 flatbreads twice a week for our cafe and Gourmet Goat, a food stall in borough market. Elsa took part in our refugee program in 2016 as an Asylum seeker and after obtaining her refugee status, she is now employed at E5 Roasthouse. Fifi, Sana and Ramatulai, all from previous classes are also working here.
Address: 2 Cotall Street, Poplar. E14 6TL
Open daily from 9am – 5pm.