Veggy Malta visited Fairtrade Café by Say It in Paola. Since I originally hail from Paola, I was curious to see see this shop that opened in October 2018. It is not in the square, or what was a square before all the trees were uprooted to make way for the new sun-baked pedestrian zone. You can find it in the road that takes you to Tarxien. At the top end of the Paola shopping zone.
I want to emphasise that Fairtrade Café is run by a co-operative. I think that is great. Personally I believe that co-operatives are a counter balance to the capitalistic system of companies an corporations seeking endless growth and profits. It is such a pity that we do not have and have not cultivated a tradition of co-operatives in our islands. Yet let’s not go into politics and talk about coffee and food.
As the name clearly states, the café is fairtrade, thus selling products that carry the fairtrade logo. Even the prepared food is fairtrade. To achieve this, the large majority of products sold are produced in-house. In that manner they can produce the products using ingredients from from fairtrade sources. The cafè also has a strong environment ethos in trying to reduce waste, be it food waste and also waste linked to food consumption. This is why you will find things like paper straws and as little plastic as possible. In terms of food waste, they convert the unused bread to create pudding to give out with the coffee (good idea .. and sparing you from those wrapped biscuits one always gets with a coffee).
There is a limited vegetarian and vegan selection (which will hopefully increase in time). It is possible to have vegan milk with you coffee as they keep fairtrade coconut milk in the shop. And there will be the odd vegan desert in the counter including the (popular) vegan protein balls. There is a wider choice of vegetarian options.
The café has ample seating space, with one section lose to the external door and other further inside. Between these is a small shelving area where you can buy fairtrade products.