Tag Archives: Efrem Fesaha

South End Coffee Entrepreneur Wins WA Small-Business Person of the Year

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Efrem Fesaha had an ambitious dream — to bring a unique coffee experience to Seattle, one of the coffee capitals of the world. And now, in 2022, he’s been recognized for it, receiving the title of both Washington Small-Business Person of the Year and Pacific Northwest Small-Business Person of the Year. 

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Boon Boona Brings Coffee’s African Roots to Capitol Hill

by Alexa Peters


In 2016, Black coffee professional Michelle Johnson in an article titled, “The Black Cup of Excellence: Being Black in Specialty Coffee,” wrote the following: 

“Specialty coffee is a progressive industry, but being Black in a community majority of [w]hites still lends itself to the same oppression felt across multiple industries in our country and around the world.”

The article, which has since been taken down, shook the coffee industry to its core, and it began an industry-wide conversation that has intensified since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and has prompted more industry experts to speak out against what coffee writer Umeko Motoyoshi calls “anti-blackness in specialty coffee.” From her perspective, the industry’s persistent racism is born largely from its reluctance to acknowledge and learn about the African roots of coffee itself.

That’s where Efrem Fesaha, the owner of Seattle’s Boon Boona Coffee, comes in. Raised in West Seattle as the son of two Eritrean immigrants, Fesaha has spent the last three years establishing his Renton and Capitol Hill coffee shops dedicated to spreading the rich African coffee history to local java aficionados.

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