Yordanos Asmelash Haile, Asmara Cafe

Asmara Cafe specializes in traditional brewed Eritrean and Ethiopian coffee and food such as chicken kilwa, foule and sambusas. Owner Yordanos Asmelash Haile is a first-generation American having immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea in East Africa. She aims to highlight her cultural flavors through the menu at her coffee shop.

Marcos Murrilo, Tapa the World

Marcos Murrilo came here from Mexico in 1996. His first job in the U.S. was working at Tapa the World restaurant in Sacramento. There, he was the executive chef for 11 years. Marcos created several of the specialty dishes that are still on the menu today. 

Sana Javeri Kadri, Diaspora Co.

Everything about Diaspora Co exudes passion. From the company’s growing line of consciously sourced and sustainably grown spices and its vibrant digital media channels to several creative product partnerships.

Lamees Dahbour, Mama Lamees

Most Americans have sampled hummus, that creamy Middle Eastern blend that is the perfect complement for vegetables and crackers. Well, the Bay Area is now excitedly trying new items like musakhan: pita bread with onions, almonds, and sumac.

Cosimo Allegretta, FoodJets

FoodJets is a local franchise web and app-based platform that allows you to order food from local restaurants. You can track your delivery driver and enjoy your delicious piping hot food without delays from other orders. FoodJets delivers one order at a time.

Patricia Van Der Beek, CreArt Preschool

Originally from Brazil, Patricia Van Der Beek came to the US to make her childhood dream of starting a preschool a reality. She worked three jobs to put herself through a Master’s program in early childhood education. Then she won a scholarship that allowed her to complete a business management certificate at UC Berkeley. In 2015, with the help of the Marin SBDC, she was able to open CreArt Preschool.

Mariatu Browne, Tu Organics Salon & Spa

Mariatu “Tu” Browne discovered her passion for hair at the early age of 9. She used to braid hair in her home country of Sierra Leone. Fast forward to California in 2006, where a generous investment from a friend helped her open her first salon, Tu’s Studio Hair Design. A series of personal hardships, coupled with the onset of an economic downturn, forced her to close her doors.

Tam Le and Richard Lai, Tam’s Restaurant and Sandwiches

Tam Le is no stranger to making food people can’t get enough of. Her bakery, aptly named Tam’s Bakery, was already a staple for dozens of Garden Grove families, college students, and locals. The immense popularity of an off-menu item, a soup served to royalty in her native Vietnam, prompted Tam and her husband, Richard Lai, to consider opening a restaurant.

Sofia Lopez, Santo Hermano Pedro Boutique

Back in Antigua, Guatemala, Sofia Lopez had a small business. She sold items like pocketbooks, belts, and wallets on the vibrant main square. She always wanted to run such a venture and was achieving success. That is, until violence compelled her to leave her homeland a decade ago.