Giving People a Fair Shot

Fair Shot Café iced coffee

HaleyStar Honeck

Arriving in London was one of the most exciting moments in my life. The first thing I noticed about this beautiful city was how fast-paced London really is. Whether getting a quick cup of tea or coffee before class, meeting with friends, working on homework, or grabbing a delicious bite to eat; finding a comfortable café that becomes your serene and safe place is a must! I recently stumbled upon the greatest café yet. Fair Shot Café, located at 3 Slingsby Pl., London near the Covent Garden tube exit.  

Fair Shot Café is more than just an ordinary café, it is wonderfully extraordinary. Employing 12 trainees at a time, Fair Shot helps adults with learning disabilities learn the skills needed to successfully work there at the café for one year. After completing the program at Fair Shot, the program finds the graduate paid employment through one of their workforce partnerships. With the skills and knowledge that each trainee learns over the course of a year working at Fair Shot Café, they are set up for success moving forward. 

Cafe goers enjoying a cup of Fair Shot Cafe coffee
Café goers enjoying a cup of Fair Shot Cafe coffee

Fair Shot Café opened on December 14, 2021. Alba Bagueste, the café manager, said, “The café has had a massive impact on me. Before I used to work in hospitality, and it was all about the money and people were rude—now I work for the impact I am having and that everyone here is having around me. I don’t come into work just for today, I come into work for the future. Working here is worth it. It is not just a job to me.”  

Joe Walker is the assistant manager at Fair Shot. “The café has had a large impact on me, especially with my mental health. The places that I have worked before were long hours and negative work environments. When I come here it is so uplifting and positive. Everyone wants to be here and is happy to see you when you come through that door,” said Walker. 

Alba Bagueste and Joe Walker
Alba Bagueste and Joe Walker

The trainees have a lot to say about the program. Josiah said, “I have been working here since September 2022. My favorite part about working at Fair Shot is interacting with the customers.” Josiah greeted people and took orders. He provided great customer service experience to everyone walking in the door.  

Hayley posing with Josiah
Hayley posing with Josiah

Another trainee, Emmanuel, said, “I have been working at Fair Shot since September 2022. My favorite part about working here is making coffees for all the people.”  

Hayley posing with Emmanuel
Hayley posing with Emmanuel

95% of adults with learning disabilities in the UK are unemployed. Fair Shot is working on changing that one person at a time! Each trainee gets 880 hours of training and support during their time in the four-step program. Fair Shots program involves four days a week of working at the café and one day a week of going to class. It is immersive and interactive. 

I couldn’t leave Fair Shot without knowing what everyone’s favorite menu item was.  

  • Alba—garlic mushroom toast with ricotta cheese topped with lemon zest   
  • Joe—turkey bacon swirl  
  • Josiah—meat croissant   
  • Emmanuel—any of the sandwiches 

Being a Human Services major and finding Fair Shot Café is like a dream come true. Every part of this café makes my heart happy. As I walked inside, the décor was bright and inviting. I was instantly greeted with a smile and friendly hello as the warm smell of coffee surrounded me. I give this café a 10/10 and recommend that you go and try it for yourself. I got an iced vanilla latte and a brownie. That brownie was absolutely amazing—I will be back for another!  

Every purchase made at Fair Shot Café goes towards helping fund the program that helps these young adults. You can help change the world: one coffee at a time, one person at a time.

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