Les Stoneham describes himself as a "coffee drinker by trade, but an espresso drinker by passion." Tasting his freshly ground, locally roasted beans made into an intense brew without a trace of bitterness and topped with a supremely dense froth, one can easily understand that passion. The nonprofit Roh's Street Café is a dream made real — a community center that gives local musicians, artists and activists a place to share their passions. It's also a great place to grab a perfectly prepared cup of fair trade coffee or tea with, as Les explains, "a portion of the profits going to support community-based programs for foster children: scholarships, summer camps, after-care programs...."
CityBeat: Where'd you eat your last great meal — and what was it?
Les Stoneham: I took a friend to Honey for her birthday. I've actually been there twice in the past month. The food's excellent, but the atmosphere is really relaxed. I had beef tenderloin with Honey fries. Desserts were awesome, too.
CB: Why should I care if my coffee is fair trade?
LS: Coffee is such an international product, and this is a first step in getting Western consumers to realize how much goes into it and how little the grower gets out of it. Fair trade ensures that they get fair prices based on quality. It gives them a reason to take pride in their work and product and, ultimately, raises quality for you.
Roh's Street Café, 245 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, 513-328-ROHS