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.

Yordanos has more than 10-years’ experience working in the back and front of the house at her father’s restaurant in Eritrea. She began investing her savings into Asmara Cafe in June 2019 to build out a kitchen space in her City Heights storefront. Multiple COVID-related challenges disrupted her buildout and challenged her capital. Luckily, she was referred to Accessity by City of San Diego staff and was approved for a loan to fund costs such as inventory, furniture, and kitchen equipment, as well as working capital. With this funding, Yordanos was finally able to open her business in the summer of 2021. Asmara Cafe is a family business with Yordanos’ daughters helping her on nights and weekends. Yordanos is most proud of the two jobs she has created within her community.