Boon Boona Coffee has expanded to Capitol Hill.
“Our intention was to focus on Africa,” Efrem Fesaha told CHS Thursday afternoon inside the new location for his growing coffee company centered on the continent’s place as the birthplace of the caffeinated bean. “Putting that spotlight and more attention on those countries, as an African, is something I want to do.”
The cafe, Fesaha says, is about “paying respect to where coffee came from.”
CHS reported here in January on the plans for Boon Boona’s expansion to 12th Ave taking over the former Cherry Street Coffee space across from Seattle University.
In addition to the global coffee focus, Fesaha has built Boon Boona around spotlighting local communities and creators. The first Boon Boona opened on 3rd Street in Renton’s downtown in 2018 and became a popular venue for musicians and artists.
The new 12th Ave Boon Boona doesn’t have as much space inside but sits next to 12th Ave Square Park and the James woonerf. You can imagine a Boon Boona event spilling out into the space in a post-pandemic future.
There’s also a busy neighbor next door. Capitol Hill taco counter Carmelo’s Tacos opened its first full-fledged restaurant expansion on 12th Ave to start the month.
Fesaha, who grew up in the area and remembers 12th Ave where many of his favorite East African stores and restaurants used to be, says community and culture are paired with what he hopes are delicious roasts and great pours.
“Of course, we want to provide great coffee,” Fesaha says. “We’re fortunate enough that the continent of Africa has so much available to it that all we have to do is roast it up, and the work is done.”
Boon Boona is open daily 9 AM to 2 PM at 1223 E Cherry. You can learn more at boonboonacoffee.com.
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