By Tom Gitaa
Friday March 17, 2023
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Tuesday that Abdirahman Kahin, owner and CEO of Twin Cities-based Afro Deli and Grill, is the federal agency’s Minnesota 2023 Small Business Person of the Year.In a statement, Brian McDonald, SBA’s Minnesota District Director, said the 45-year-old Kahin is a dedicated business leader and that has also invested in his community.
Afro Deli and Grill is a fast-casual fusion restaurant that offers freshly made African, Mediterranean, and American food in a fast, fun, and friendly environment.
“Kahin’s unique business concept coupled with the support of the SBA and his dedication reflects great credit on his business and has led to impressive growth to allow him to invest back into the local community.,” McDonald said.
Mr. Kahin who immigrated to the United States as student in 1996 first ventured into the media production business after attending community college before turning to the restaurant business.
He opened the first Afro Deli and Grill location in Minneapolis in 2010 and has since expanded to four locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. He has his eyes on a nationwide expansion that will make it the first national African restaurant chain in the United States.
Mr. Kahin told Mshale the four locations provide employment to more than 80 people with the SBA describing Afro Deli’s business culture as “rooted in the belief that good accessible food has the power to bring people together.”
Mr. Kahin will now compete for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award during National Small Business Week which takes place April 30-May 6, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
“I am looking forward to competing at the national level and win it all,” said Mr. Kahin during a phone interview.