Meet Efram Fesaha, the owner and founder of Boon Boona Coffee in Renton. Boon Boona sells high quality coffee sourced from the birthplace of the drink, East Africa. Efram is passionate about both supporting African farmers, but also about educating his customers about the roots of coffee.
Fun-fact: The word “coffee” comes from Ethopia’s Kaffa Province.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business? Something that we have definitely been putting more attention [towards is] our online business. [We have] subscription based models where you can get two bags of coffee, once a month or even once a week, discounted. [You can order] any of our coffees that we have up on our website and it gives you an opportunity to try the different coffees that we have. We roast and ship the next day or that same day, basically, so it’s a very fresh roast that subscribers would receive. We discount our shipping to be able to make it more accessible for people. All these things that we do to really incentivize people to come to our website, especially during a time like now with COVID with people working from home. Do you still want a cup of coffee? Well, don’t treat yourself to a bad cup and get some Boon Boona.
Why is it important that people support small businesses like yours? They say it all the time, that small businesses are the backbone of America. Truly, the independence and the strength of the small businesses. They hire the most. They provide more opportunity to circulate dollars within marginalized communities, the minority communities. To circulate a black dollar within your community, it’s more likely to happen with small businesses than it is with larger conglomerates. I think that it’s both bowls, one from an economical perspective on a macro level of just American in general. But then on the micro level for BIPOC to be able to have places that represent things like coffee and that tell that story versus it being controlled by a narrative that isn’t very authentic or real to where it’s from. You want to go to an Indian restaurant or Pakistan restaurant and you want to know that the spices and the food is made by people of origin or have roots there. Versus being mass manufactured in some random factory by Joe Schmo. Small businesses provide more custom, more unique, more depth, more history, more story perspective, of an experience than big box stores or big franchise businesses. You can only get that with small businesses.
What are some of your favorite local businesses and what do you love about them? Ocha [Thai Kitchen & Bar] is one of the restaurants in downtown Renton. I go there almost once a week and I just love all their food. It’s so good. There’s two breweries that I really enjoy going to in downtown Renton, one is Dubtown Brewery and the other one is Four Generals. Those are great spots to get local, good quality beer. Jaguar Mexican Restaurant. It’s kitty corner from our spot from the cafe in Renton. And Jaguar had just delicious, delicious food and they’ve got this Habanero hot sauce that they’ve got, and man, you could put that on anything and it’s going to be bomb.