The Fairtrade Coffee Shop - What Hasn't It Got?

75p morning rolls, cans of juice only 40p, a range of tasty baguettes for between £1.50 - £1.75 and free wireless internet.

Feature by Xavier Toby | 15 Jul 2006


The cheapest morning rolls on Leith Walk (only 75p!), free wireless internet, reasonably priced food and an ethos geared towards constantly endeavouring to use more fairtrade products – what more could a café offer? Well The Fairtrade Coffee Shop on Leith Walk in Edinburgh (31 Albert Place to be exact) also has a separate seating area that doubles as an exhibition space for local artists, musicians and authors through which they can sell their wares.

Proprietor Joe Jerome took over the business, still also known as Full of Beans, in January and since then has continually renovated and improved the cafe. What was previously a kitchen and retail area is now a thoughtfully decorated open plan seating space which has an airy and gentle ambience despite being a relatively small space. Customers have free access to wireless internet and two computer terminals.

Paintings by a local artist adorn the walls (the gallery space is only for artists who have never exhibited professionally), and soon the only music played in the café will be produced by unsigned musicians, while there will also be a bookcase stocked with the works of self-published authors. All work will be for sale, and Joe doesn't take commission knowing that the work will attract more customers to the café. To apply for your work to be displayed simply get in touch (details below).

By August Joe expects to have a full range of fairtrade goods including coffee beans and tea, trinkets and ornaments, and provided council permission for outdoor seating comes through, Joe is also considering installing a small stage so that folk musicians can play live in the café.

In terms of the food, apart from 75p morning rolls, cans of juice are only 40p and a range of tasty baguettes are available for between £1.50 - £1.75. A favourite is the Thai Chilli chicken, while the soup is always wonderful; comforting, traditional recipes such as potato and leek and an excellent Scotch broth. Since taking over, the prices have actually dropped and plans are to freeze these forever, whilst at the same time exapanding the menu.

If that isn't enough Joe also operates a catering company that so far has done a luncheon for the Scottish National Party, speciality catering including gluten free and vegan selections, along with a variety of other events including a pre-wedding meal for 120 people. There are plans to expand this into something much more comprehensive in the future, but for now, just drop in to relax, check your email and enjoy a perfect bacon roll.


To contact Joe about exhibiting in the gallery space or to enquire about the catering company phone 0131 476 2698 or email, or just drop into the shop.