Adam Hashi migrated to Manitoba from Ethiopia in 1988. For many years since, he dreamt of starting a coffee business in his new home in a way that retained his connections to his first home. When his brother Mohamed Ali and brother-in-law Henock Gebri joined him in 2015, the first seeds for the realization of his dream were sown. In the Spring of 2019, those seeds were reaped and Negash Coffee joined the real world.
Negash Coffee is a joint venture between the two brothers and their brother-in-law. The business is located in the city of Niverville, a small town located about 45 kilometers from the larger city of Winnipeg. The partners import coffee beans from Ethiopia, roast them in their “bougie” shop, and deliver the roasted java to customers all across southern Manitoba.
Negash notes that the decision to make Niverville their base was as strategic as it was practical. He believes that they would not have been able to compete in the bigger cities as their brans is more “homey” than it is large-scale like the coffee shops and roasters “out there”. This decision seems to have been sound given the relative success that the partners enjoy.
Even amidst a pandemic that has troubled many long-established businesses, Negash Coffee has managed to cement itself within the Manitoban community. They have come up with simple yet innovative strategies like tours of their facilities that include coffee tasting and ‘create your own coffee blend’ services and coffee subscription packages for both corporate and residential customers.
Negash also emphasized that their success would not have been possible without the support from their local community both before and during the pandemic. The business has shown appreciation for this support in the past by working with a local radio station and newspaper to create the “Mix Morning Blend”. All the sales revenue from this flavor was then donated to local charities; an event that has since been dubbed “The Christmas Miracle”.
The unique coffee business transcends communal boundaries, however, as it is also a popular spot among tourists. It was one of these star-struck tourists who reported that her granddaughters had described the business as “bougie”. Maybe it’s the warm, fancy interior design that has led to that description, maybe it’s the coffee, but to her (and many coffee aficionados), Negash Coffee is just what it should be; the taste of home from across the globe.