The story of Boon Boona starts with one man and connects two cultures, worlds apart.
Our founder and CEO, Efrem Fesaha, grew up in Seattle. While the city’s grab-and-go coffee culture was all around, his Eritrean family performed the traditional coffee ceremony that is part of daily life in Eritrean and Ethiopian households. After a trip to Asmara, Eritrea, his love for East African coffee culture truly took root.
Inspired by the slower pace and welcoming community of Eritrean cafes filled with the fragrance of roasting beans, Efrem returned to Seattle with a heartfelt mission. He was determined to share the unique flavors and traditions of East Africa, where coffee is not just a drink–it’s a daily pause, and a chance to gather with friends and family.
With social impact built into our business, Boon Boona Coffee is now a source of connection and opportunity for both African coffee growers and the Greater Seattle community.
Boon Boona sources coffee beans exclusively from Africa, a market full of unique challenges and transformative opportunities.
In Africa, growers often lack access to capital, depend on minimal infrastructure, and earn less than a dollar per day. While expansive coffee farms are common in Latin America, East African farms can be as small as a few trees in a family’s garden. By coming together in coffee cooperatives, smallholder farms gain the benefits of scale–like more efficient processing of their beans, and better pricing.
That’s why Boon Boona works hard to forge long-lasting, sustainable relationships with coffee producers, cooperatives, exporters, and importers from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and other African nations. We focus on supporting woman-owned growers, and seek out new paths into underserved African coffee-growing regions.
We believe that coffee is a catalyst for shared prosperity. Our intentional approach allows us to source some of the best coffee from Africa, while directing a larger share of profits to individual growers and bolstering the African coffee industry as a whole.
In the spirit of East African coffee shops, we work to foster a warm and welcoming environment in our cafés. As a core part of that effort, we take care in creating an inclusive space for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized individuals.
We're constantly thinking up ways to support our local community, from providing pop-up space to artists, non-profits, and small businesses.
Whether you join us in person at our café or order our coffee online, thank you for becoming part of our community and sharing the love with African coffee growers.