Ted Rosner is a co-founder of Redemption Roasters; the world’s first behind bars coffee company. At their Roastery inside the walls of HMP The Mount, they train offenders in coffee industry skills with the aim of reducing reoffending in the UK.
Once released, Redemption Roasters help them to find employment, reducing the likelihood of returning to prison by 50%.
“We want to show the coffee community and the world that a positive commercial environment can be created behind bars and that exceptional specialty coffee can come from places and people you wouldn’t expect.”
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Funnier than my dad. And I'm still not there.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Who gave you that nugget?
Toss up between “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” (Yogi Berra) and “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often” (John Henry Newman). Someone also once insightfully told me, “honesty is very disarming”; never forgot that one.
When did you fall in love with what you do now and how did you get started?
I fell in love with working for me whilst working for someone else and realising I was incompatible with that arrangement, at the moment anyways.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Get up; tea; check my overall rank in fantasy football for the fifth time this week; walk to the office; arrive at office; wish we had a better one; meet my direct reports one on one (I do this every week); eat lunch, which I hopefully made myself; gym; visit our coffee shops and nit-pick imperfections; communicate these; hope there’s Champions League on tonight; go home.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work. If that answers your question
What do you do to prep for a new project or adventure?
I'm not very adventurous so let's stick to the projects. I make lists and think who needs to do what by when.
What is your favorite part about the area you live in and your community?
My local pub, the Wenlock Arms. Unbeatable.
What makes you uncomfortable and how do you handle it?
Parties - I avoid them. Bad interiors - I buy nice furniture.
Making everyday exceptional means…
Elevating the mundane.
What advice would you give to your 16 yr old self?
Listen harder in maths and play football, not hockey.
What's on the cards, professionally and personally, in the next 12 months?
Personally, I’m getting a dog and swapping out my stud earring for a hoop. Not sure which I’m more excited about. Professionally I’m just going to keep trying to make Redemption the best, most impactful company it can be.
What secret ambitions do you have?
Build an all-concrete house for myself in the middle of nowhere.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Almost certainly something we don't know about yet. Ask me again in 500 years.