For Roasters & Retailers

How This Woman Perked Up Her Family’s Coffee Business and Jolted Sales by 300 Percent


A few years ago, Alyza Bohbot, 32, faced a major life decision. Did she want to take over her family’s coffee business? Her parents, Israeli immigrants, launched Alakef Coffee Roasters in Duluth, Minn., in the ’90s and had tremendous success, but business had cooled down and they were ready to sell.

“When my parents started the company, they were one of five specialty shops,” Bohbot says. “Now you can’t throw a rock in Minnesota without hitting 16 coffee shops and five coffee roasters.”

At the time, Bohbot was living on the east coast, having just earned her master’s in school counseling. The last thing she was thinking about was running a coffee business — that was always her parents’ thing. But she also realized she was being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “I didn’t want to ever look back at my life and wonder what might have been,” she says.

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