Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Book café hopes to leave a good footprint



Book café hopes to leave a good footprint

Footprints opened last month. Mateo Rozo Henao
Footprints opened last month. Mateo Rozo Henao

Book café hopes to leave a good footprint

Georgina Hemmingway hopes that Footprints Café, which opened on Street 26 last month, will be the first in a network as far-reaching as Starbucks. The social enterprise serves coffee and food, but its primary focus is peddling books. Nearly 9,000 are currently en route from the UK.

The project will bring world-class resources to a small and underserved community, according to Hemmingway, the enterprise’s CEO.About a third are children’s books that will be donated to rural schools.

Another set will form an academic reference library for the Siem Reap community – including its many university students – located upstairs, away from the noise. The remainder – all fiction and young adult titles – will be on sale in the café.

Footprints has received funding from an investor who has agreed to sponsor three cafés over three years in Cambodia, with the possibility for regional expansion. “The big dream is that we have enough cafés that we can be self-sustaining,” Hemmingway says. She has in mind an ethical equivalent to bigger coffee chains.

The café will judge its performance by how it treats its people, including fair wages and professional training for its staff. Footprints is also invested in the environment: the café uses natural products, composts waste and doesn’t use plastic. “We’re a triple bottom-line social enterprise,” Hemmingway says. “We concentrate on people, planet and profits.”

Footprints also supports a number of local sellers, including a custom line from Ammo jewellery designers. A social enterprise hub with office space for community members will soon be developed. For Hemmingway, the model is simple. “Most people want to leave a positive footprint,” she says.

Footprints Café is located on Street 26, near Wat Bo. For more information, visit footprintcafes.org.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the