Tom Harris Interview

Meet Tom Harris from we walk the line who trains up the next generation of barista entrepreneurs to make high quality coffee.

‘Hi my name is Tom Harris (Ziltoid’s barista).’


What do you do in Poplar?
I am an employee of a social enterprise called ‘we walk the line’. I train up the next generation of barista entrepreneurs to make high quality coffee from small concessions with the goal of handing over the business to them so they can become their own bosses.

How do you interact with local people?
I am currently operating our first concession in a charity shop called Emmaus on Chrisp Street Market. Serving up specialty coffees to local residents and commuters, and explaining our grand plan to anyone that’s interested

What do you think could be improved?
We want to reach a bigger audience and start training our first entrepreneur

Where do you hope to see Poplar in five years time?
I would like to see Poplar’s commercial side grow in supporting projects and social enterprises like our own. Encouraging visitors from wider London while retaining the metropolitan Poplar character.

If there were money to invest where would you like to go?
Once we have some funding and generating our own we want to start to set up concessions in corporate lobbies, train stations and more charity shops. We really are only limited by our imagination.

What is your favourite place in Poplar?
Emmaus where we operate, they train up homeless people to repair and ‘up cycle’ furniture. The shop has a great atmosphere and some great bargains to

Can you think of a slogan for Poplar?
I really like the folk hero George Lansbury and the ideals and equality he stood for so ‘Poplar for the People’ springs to mind.

Is there any one group or individual in Poplar that you admire?
There are a lot of likeminded social projects springing up like ‘dot dot dot’. All being orchestrated by the social regeneration  team at Poplar HARCA.

If you fancy a sit down and a nice cup of quality coffee. Why not put in and see Tom in Emmaus in Chrisp Street.