A cup of kindness

A group of staff wearing aprons, the owner holding his baby in the middle, infront of Mr Beanstalk Coffee shop

How a local coffee shop is building a community in Clerkenwell

Opening mid-pandemic might’ve proved difficult – if not fatal – for some businesses, but Mr Beanstalk Coffee quickly became a local staple in Clerkenwell. Found on a picturesque street lined with Georgian terraces, the cafe’s just five minutes’ walk from Exmouth Market one way and Angel station the other, making it a peaceful alternative to the two hubs either side.

The shop front might give the impression this is a vintage-style coffee shop, with its classic wrought iron furniture, but the inside tells a different story.

Part of the cafe is a dedicated shop selling plants, dried flowers, and other homeware, including products from other local Black-owned companies such as Shea Love London. The menu, meanwhile, offers great coffee (obviously) alongside cakes, pastries and a range of lunch choices: from generously stuffed sandwiches to meat or veggie jollof rice bowls.

The family-run business often opens up their space for local pop-ups, too – they celebrated Nigerian Independence Day with a pop-up for Phi Phi’s Soul Kitchen and The Velvet Cake Company UK – two other London-based Black-owned businesses – and they are looking to host more local businesses throughout the month. “Our whole reason for opening this space is to build community spirit. As a child I moved through different communities and now, I want my son to feel rooted in Islington – firstly at home around Highbury and of course, through his family’s place of work here in Clerkenwell,” says owner Christian.

“This has been our central focus since opening last year and our diverse mix of regulars – which ranges from students at City University across the road, to office workers, to local older and residents with disabilities – really shows we have been able to achieve this!”

As the business grows, Christian wants to showcase more Black-owned and local businesses through their pop-up space and open it up for local musicians and spoken word artists. “At the end of the month, we will be hosting our first spoken word event with Moetry – a collection of performances to close out Black History Month 2022. Keep an eye on our Instagram for more information on tickets!”

To find out more about Mr Beanstalk Coffee or enquire about using the pop-up space, get in touch through Instagram @mrbeanstalkcoffee or pop in for a coffee and say hi!

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