Amar cafe


The red telephone box is one of the most iconic symbols of Britain, alongside the red London bus.

Due to technological advancement, unfortunately, telephone booths are no longer visible icons on the UK high street. But Britain’s red phone boxes are being converted into other uses. i.e stores, library, and even a photo booth.

Only around 5,000 remain among the 31,000 total payphones in the U.K. British Telecom firm BT originally put them on the market in 2008.

Lore Mejia and Sean Rafferty, a couple who owns Amar Café are amongst the crowd who are converting the unused booths into their own business ventures.

Amar Café is a speciality coffee roaster and small café chain operating from the iconic telephone booths in England serving exclusively Colombian coffees.

They transformed their first telephone booth in Chiswick back in March 2020.

Covid lockdown restrictions set them back as they were forced to close a week after opening the Chiswick store, but eventually re-opened as restrictions were lifted and they continue to expand their business.

The chain has now got sites in Stratford-upon-Avon and Greenwich, with their latest addition in Twickenham.

Lore Mejia’s home-town is in Colombia, so she wanted to spread her love of Colombian coffee to England. She said:

Coffee has always been a part of my life, so I went back to my home-town in Colombia with my husband to visit a coffee farm.

We wanted to give the people of London the opportunity to have great Colombian coffee, so we started looking into a market or a small shop until we saw a telephone box and thought it would be great.

The community has been great to us, we were surprised. Everyone loves the coffee which was the main thing for us and lots of people liked the idea as well as recognised our other businesses.

We are always looking and in search for other telephone boxes, but we want to supply coffee to other cafes and supermarkets around.

The couple starting sourcing coffee from single farms, states, and cooperatives in Colombia while working closely with the farmers to bring their speciality coffee to London.

She added:

We believe Colombia has the best coffee and as we have a direct relationship with the farmers, we know exactly where and how the coffee is grown. We are very proud at that.

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