Roots Coffee Roaster is opened by Varatt Vichit-Vadakan (or Tae) who is also behind Roast Restaurant – one of my favourite brunch spots in Bangkok. It is a boutique coffee roastery on the quieter side of Soi Ekamai, which is just one street away from the popular Thonglor.
Besides supplying coffee to its sister restaurant and other cafes in town, it also conducts coffee appreciation classes and barista training courses during the week. As such, the cafe only opens to the public on weekends.
With so many players in the market, Roots is not the only boutique roastery in Bangkok, but it stands out because of Tae’s passion and commitment towards coffee.
It is a challenge to groom baristas in Bangkok because it is still quite a new occupation with very little interest. At Rootsand Roast, they put their barista through a 3-month training course before they become a full-time employee. Once they have reached a certain standard, they continue to provide them with more training and incentives that is competitive in the market. This is how Tae values every worker as he believes that his best asset in this industry is people – his staff are the ones who will make a difference.
Therefore, the coffee roastery also tries its best to constantly improve the baristas, equip them with more knowledge and train them to become better at their work. At the same time, a career path is also mapped out for all his workers. This is definitely heartening to know, because a Progressive Wage Model will not only hone the skills and improve the quality of work life for a barista, but also bring out the best in staff. With more motivated, trained and happier staff, the environment of the cafe will naturally be more pleasant and inviting.
The goal to produce good coffee does not just stop there. At Roots, they are also committed to ensuring a safer workplace for the workers. For the roastery, the staff (in charged of the roasters) are taught the basic fire procedures so that they know how to react during emergencies such as if the electricity goes off during roasting, or if a fire breaks out in the roaster. In addition, there are basic equipments like fire extinguisher and basic medical kits on all floors.
If you are planning to go Bangkok for a holiday, you must stop by for coffee. Besides serving an excellent cup of coffee, what I really like about Roots is that it uses a honesty box system whereby you pay the amount that you think it is worth for the coffee and freshly baked pastries.
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.
Roots Coffee Roaster
Ekamai Terrace #2-4
Sukhumvit Soi 63
Between Ekamai Soi 15 and 17
Tel: +66 88 190 5950
Sat & Sun: 12pm – 6pm
Nearest Station: Ekamai
For more recommendations, read our guide to Bangkok’s Best Coffee Shops