Streetwork to open coffee shop rival to Starbucks

Graham Willgoss

The homelessness charity Streetwork is planning to create an upmarket coffee shop run by homeless people that it hopes will rival major chains such as Starbucks.

The organisation, which is based in Edinburgh, said its Higher Ground scheme will train about 40 homeless recruits to work in the shop and boost their job prospects. It has already run two successful pilot projects in the Scottish capital.

"We plan to create an upmarket establishment that can beat the big companies like Starbucks and Costa," said Tam Hendry, managing director of Streetwork.

"Apart from having a main coffee shop, we hope to have satellite units across the city. I would like to base them at cashpoints where people beg. We will be competing directly with people begging - which they won't like - but we will support them and show them they can make money by selling coffee instead."

Streetwork is currently looking for shop premises in Edinburgh. The project will be funded with a grant of £272,000 from the Scottish Executive.

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