Small Business-Opening up a family owned coffee shop in NYC
Listen to interview with host Eric Dye & guest Elias Gurmu discuss the following:
- What are some of your biggest challenges you encountered in opening up a coffee shop in saturated market like New York City?
- Could you provide some good insights/tips in opening a family business?
- As an owner, how much time do you spend at the café? Hiring the staff? Or is that all done by your café manager?
- Do you play a role in sourcing and buying the coffee?
- Given you serve only Ethiopian coffee and you’re Ethiopian. How much has your heritage played into your business?
Buunni Coffee: Micro-Roasted Beans from Coffee’s Birthplace Buunni Coffee is an ethical, fair-trade company that can make an unusual and enticing claim: it brings consumers a beverage direct from the birthplace of coffee. And, following centuries-old tradition, Buunni Coffee beans are micro-roasted to order for the highest possible quality. Roasting coffee beans in small quantities ensures fresh, rich flavors without the bitterness or acidity associated with mass-produced coffees. Certified fair trade and organic, Buunni’s Arabica beans come from small, local farms in Ethiopia. Growing in colder temperatures at high altitudes, Ethiopian Arabica beans have a longer growing cycle that creates more complex sugars and produces a bold flavor without bitterness. In rare cases where fair trade and organic are unavailable, Buunni sources from other reputable co-op Ethiopian farmers.
“Buunni” is Conscious Coffee Buunni’s name and passion for coffee are also direct imports from Ethiopia, where coffee is hand cleaned, roasted, brewed and presented in an elaborate age-old ceremony performed in households throughout the country to honor visitors. In Ethiopia, coffee is more than a beverage—it’s the taste and smell of lively social interaction and a required pleasure of everyday life. Coffee lovers can order micro-roasted Buunni Coffee online or visit Café Buunni in New York City, which features Buunni’s signature micro-roasted coffees, tea, an espresso bar, smoothies, frappes, a selection of fresh sweet and savory baked goods, take-home packaged Ethiopian foods and an eclectic selection of handmade artisan products.
Founded by Coffee Lovers Buunni Coffee was founded by Elias Gurmu and Sarina Prabasi in New York City in 2011. The pair met and visited frequently over, of course, the rich coffee served in Gurmu’s home town of Addis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia. Gurmu is a successful entrepreneur who launched a restaurant, taxi service, and a pharmaceutical distribution service before co-creating Buunni with his wife. Since 1997, Ethiopia has been like a second home for Prabasi, who worked for a non-governmental water-safety organization in Addis Ababa.