Culinary Pioneer: Afro Deli’s Kahin earns top business honor

MINNEAPOLIS, (Caasimada Online) – On Tuesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that Abdirahman Kahin, owner, and CEO of the Twin Cities-based Afro Deli and Grill, has been named Minnesota’s 2023 Small Businessperson of the Year.  

This prestigious accolade recognizes Kahin’s exceptional leadership and substantial contributions to both his business and the local community. 

Afro Deli and Grill: A fusion of cultures 

Afro Deli and Grill, a fast-casual fusion eatery, serves a delectable selection of African, Mediterranean, and American culinary delights. 

With its emphasis on freshly prepared dishes, the establishment has quickly gained a reputation for providing a fast, fun, and friendly dining experience to patrons from diverse backgrounds. 

Brian McDonald, SBA’s Minnesota District Director, lauded the 45-year-old Kahin’s dedication to his entrepreneurial pursuits and investment in the community.  

McDonald stated, “Kahin’s unique business concept, coupled with the SBA’s support and dedication, reflects great credit on his business and has led to impressive growth. This has allowed him to invest back into the local community.” 

An immigrant’s success story

Kahin, who immigrated to the U.S. as a student in 1996, initially ventured into the media production business after attending community college.  

Subsequently, he shifted his focus to the restaurant industry. He launched the first Afro Deli and Grill location in Minneapolis in 2010.  

Since then, the business has expanded to include four locations across Minneapolis and St. Paul. Kahin’s ambitious vision consists of a nationwide expansion, making Afro Deli and Grill the first African restaurant chain in the United States. 

According to Mshale, an African community newspaper, the four locations currently employ over 80 individuals. 

The SBA characterizes Afro Deli’s business ethos as firmly grounded in the conviction that high-quality, accessible cuisine can unite individuals from diverse backgrounds.  

This ethos is reflected in the restaurant’s mission and its impact on the community.

The road to national recognition

Kahin is now set to contend for the esteemed National Small Business Person of the Year Award as part of National Small Business Week, slated to take place from April 30 to May 6, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

In a phone interview, an enthusiastic Kahin shared, “I am now looking forward to competing at the national level and hopefully winning it all.”

With his exemplary dedication to his business and community, Abdirahman Kahin has proven himself a deserving recipient of the Minnesota 2023 Small Businessperson of the Year Award.  

As he vies for the national title, his journey inspires entrepreneurs and community leaders alike.