Jonathan and Sarah Robinson

Founders, Bean There Fair Trade Coffee Co

The warm, sweet smell of delicious African coffee at Bean
There, at 44 on Stanley, is intensely inviting. Finding out
that brother and sister team Jonathan and Sarah Robinson have
founded the fi rst and only fair trade roastery in the country
makes the brew even more delectable.
During a stay in Canada Jonathan met a man who deals in fair
trade coffee and soon brought the idea back home to Jo'burg.
Sarah, studying political science in Canada at the time, worked as
a barista at Starbucks before returning to South Africa to join her
brother in his venture.
Of fair trade, Jonathan says: "The word itself is the best way
to describe it: it is trading fairly and paying the producers a
fair price for their coffee.� With the coffee market fl uctuations,
the "price they get is sometimes less than the actual cost of
The Robinsons have travelled Africa in search of highquality
coffee and offer the farmers an appropriate price. The
six different beans on offer are sourced from communities in
Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
"We don't buy coffee from places where we don't have
relationships,� says Jonathan. "We aim to support a community
for several years � we are committed to change.�
But it is not simply fair trade that makes Bean There coffee
the bean of choice for high-end clients around the country, from
&Beyond (formerly CC Africa) to Le Quartier Fran�ais, it's quality.
"We never want to guilt people into buying our coffee,� say the
"So much of our business is about education,� says Sarah.
"The number of people involved in the whole process and the
time and effort it takes. We educate people on things from the
origins [of the coffee] to how to make good coffee at home.�
The coffee shop, they say, is "a cool place to work from and a
way to showcase the product � .
And the future? "Given enough coffee, we can rule the world,�
says Jonathan. � Lisa Steyn

Lunch spot: Salvation Cafe, 44 Stanley, Milpark, Johannesburg