New Ilford artisan coffee shop with ethical flavour
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 September 2015
For coffee lovers mourning the demise of the M&S cafe in Ilford, a new ethical coffee shop in the town centre could win over their affections.
AB&Co Coffee, in Ferguson House, Cranbrook Road, intends to become Ilford’s first real artisan cafe.
Following a tasting launch event last week, with AB&Co’s roasters, Coffee Officina, manager Emma Thompson told the Recorder how the cafe was conceived in unusual circumstances.
She said: “Our director owns Ferguson House, and there was this empty space on the bottom floor.
“We decided instead of everyone always going to Costa to get their coffee, we could open our own coffee shop for everyone to use.
“There is not really an artisan coffee presence in Ilford, and it is bringing good coffee at affordable prices. A back to basics approach – coffee without frills or pretence.”
The parent company is architecture firm Madigan Browne, and so lots of recycled materials from other building projects were used to put the shop together.
Emma said: “It has been a year-long work of labour building it.”
AB&Co chose Coffee Officina, which is based in Essex, to be their roasting partners due to their ethical standards.
Emma said: “They stock from Central America, South America and Africa.
“The majority of this coffee is purchased for higher than Fair Trade minimums.”
She also explained how the new shop is keen to play a community role.
“Any food we can no longer keep on the shelves goes to the Ilford Welcome Project.”
The Welcome Project, in St Mary’s Road, provides food and shelter to homeless people.
Emma continued: “All staff members are paid also paid above the London living wage.
“It’s our intention to always be an ethical brand no matter what.”