Rainier mini-mart owner has plans for Ethiopian cafe

Rainier mini-mart owner Solomon Dubie
Solomon Dubie at the Rainier Ave mini-mart that he plans to convert to an Ethiopian Coffee Shop. (Photo by Colleen McDevitt)

My cozy little apartment sits above a mini-mart along a bustling stretch of Rainier Avenue South.

As my lease comes up for renewal this spring, the biggest perk in staying is that the shop owner downstairs, Solomon Dubie, has big plans to transform the convenience store into Café Avole.

“Rainier Mini-Mart will become an elegant, inviting, community-based cafe that will offer the culture of coffee (or ‘buna‘ as it is called) from my very own heritage, Ethiopia,” says Solomon.

Who wouldn’t want that outside of their front door?

With a vibrant senior center across the street and a busy bus stop in front of the store, his shop is already a staple for many neighbors in a close radius. Replacing junk food and beer with coffee and culture will activate the corner of Rainier Ave and Holly Street with a positive and exciting feeling that the neighborhood first got a hint of last summer.

In August, our neighborhood received a grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, and under Solomon’s leadership, we threw the best Night Out event in the city! Dozens and dozens of our neighbors came out to dance, eat and host our very own street party together.

Neighbors get down at the Holly Street Night Out event last year. (Photo by Colleen McDevitt)
Neighbors get down at the Holly Street Night Out event last August. (Photo by Colleen McDevitt)

“I want Café Avole to embody that feeling of fellowship year-round for Brighton and the surrounding neighborhoods,” says Solomon.

The way Solomon has taken care of our building and the way he takes care of our neighbors is a daily breath of fresh air. Now he wants to bring us a community space through authentic tastes of Ethiopian buna.

But in order to make this happen he’s looking for financial support from his neighbors. Solomon recently launched an online campaign to raise $17,407.50 for the purchase of coffee equipment and re-construction to bring this space to life.

Learn more about Solomon’s dream on Indiegogo and consider donating! tinyurl.com/CafeAvole

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