Efrem Fesaha, CEO and founder of Renton’s Boon Boona Coffee grew up with the traditional coffee ceremony practiced in East Africa.
“Living in Seattle I was exposed to Starbucks, but it was nothing like what I experienced in Asmara, Eritrea,” he said. “I fell in love with coffee after a trip to my homeland in 2011. I wanted to focus on relationship building on the Mother Continent, Africa.”
Fesaha reached out to friends and family in Ethiopia to source green coffee, which he then distributed to his community of Ethiopians/Eritreans who practice the traditional coffee ceremony. By 2013-14, he was distributing green coffee throughout Seattle and eventually into Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Atlanta and Toronto. In 2016, he collaborated with friends at Anchorhead Coffee to have some of his green coffee roasted, and by 2018, he had saved up enough to open his own brick-and-mortar location in Renton.