Elias Gurmu and his wife, Sarina Prabasi, moved from Ethiopia to open New York City‘s first Ethiopian-owned and -run coffee shop, Cafe Buunni, in Washington Heights. “Most people know about Ethiopia – it’s about famine, starving children,” Gurmu says. “I want to change people’s minds.” He aims to do this by blending and serving organic and fair trade Ethiopian coffee, bringing a slice of his country’s famous coffee culture to the city.
About the Owners
Sarina discovered this passion for Ethiopian coffee during her first visit to Ethiopia in 1997. Her work in the non-profit sector brought her back frequently making Ethiopia her second home. Ever since, she’s been hooked on the Makyato, similar to a latte, but smaller, creamier and immensely more flavorful.
Also during this time, Sarina met her husband Elias, a native of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital city). Elias, a successful entrepreneur who in the past has launched a restaurant, taxi service, and a pharmaceutical distribution service, decided now is the time to focus on his passion for coffee. Elias likes his coffee black, strong and piping hot!
Together, Sarina and Elias want to share their love for the Ethiopian Arabica bean with you and your family so you can find your own perfect cup of Buunni Coffee.