A friend alerted me to this issue when she was reluctant to patronise the city’s ‘coffee chains’ and suggested the Cornish Pasty shop, only to be disillusioned by hearing that they also are a countrywide chain and have actually been criticised for importing cheap labour to Cornwall, an area of high unemployment.
All those who want to support businesses with local roots will value the information placed by Joe Peacock on BFOE’s website.
“With one week to go before our amazing Bike Trains roll into Victoria Square, we have some news to tempt even more people to get climb aboard. Birmingham’s brilliant independent coffee shops are getting behind us and supplying some wonderful food for the cyclists’ breakfast.
“We have long been supporters of the independent traders in the city centre (small though they are in number compared to all the national/international chains, so we’re delighted to announce that Sixeight Kafe, are also getting behind our efforts to green the city’s commuting habits.
“I had the pleasure of going around and talking to the owners of these brilliant examples of local businesses last week and was delighted to learn that not only are their drinks all of a very high ethical standard (Fair Trade or Direct Trade), but they are also very keen on promoting cycling, too.
“Six Eight Kafe offers a discount for cyclists and are located on Temple Row, behind House of Fraser. It is an ideal stop for city centre couriers and commuters, who can secure their bicycles to the lamp posts directly in front and keep an eye on their precious bikes whilst enjoying their morning coffee on their outside seating.
“Brewsmiths are located just in the Jewellery Quarter on Livery St, opposite the Lionel St car park and just 5 mins from Colmore Row. They have been asking for better cycling facilities in their area for a while and have a small area just inside the shop where they allow cyclists to leave their bikes. They have a strong commitment to trading locally when possible.
Between them, they are supplying some delicious tea and coffee, porridge, cereal, fresh fruit and croissants. I’m sure that will all be very welcome to our cyclists next Thursday. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so here.”