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Embracing the Spirit of African Coffee: HR Consulting for Boon Boona

At the peak of the pandemic, Boon Boona Coffee served as a connection between African specialty coffee and the people of Western Washington. Efrem Fesaha welcomed the community into a tradition centered around honor and togetherness, reflected in how the business operates.

kings dream business consulting human resources for small businesses

King's Dream Business Consulting worked with Seattle business Boon Boona Ethiopian Coffee to provide affordable human resource assistance and management during global uncertainty.

The Deliverables.


Timeline:

12 months

Human Resource Management Services

Keeping up to date with the local, state, and federal labor regulations is not why you started a business. Our consultants create personalized employee plans, provide hands-on support, and develop solutions through a social equity lens.

Organizational Development


The Client.


In 2011, a remarkable encounter took place that would forever change the trajectory of Efrem's life. Traveling to Asmara, Eritrea, he experienced the awe-inspiring coffee culture that breathed life into the local community. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee permeated the air, and the cafés exuded an inviting ambiance that Seattle had yet to witness.

A flame ignited within Efrem's soul as he carried the newfound joy and excitement back home. Undeterred by the rejection of his initial business plan to establish an East African coffee shop, he gracefully adjusted his sails and embarked on a new path. Efrem decided to bridge the gap by sourcing superior green coffee from Ethiopia, catering to the East African communities residing in the United States.


Word quickly spread through the grapevine, captivating the hearts of Efrem's family and friends, who became eager patrons of his exceptional green coffee beans. The East African tradition of sharing a cup of coffee with loved ones facilitated the rapid dissemination of Efrem's creation, leading to its distribution in stores across the entire West Coast (Now that's hustling!).

kings dream business consulting human resources for small businesses

Building upon this resounding success, Efrem's entrepreneurial spirit yearned to explore uncharted territory. In 2016, he fearlessly delved into the art of coffee roasting, devising his techniques to yield unparalleled flavors and aromas. Years of meticulous experimentation bore fruit, and thus, Boon Boona Roastery and Café was brought into being.


A profound commitment to supporting African woman-owned growers resonates at the core of Boon Boona's ethos. By doing so, the brand procures the finest African coffee and extends a more significant portion of the profits directly to these remarkable individuals, enriching their livelihoods and propelling the African coffee trade forward. - Jawan Harris, King's Dream Business Consulting

Remaining authentic to the essence of East African coffee shops, Fesaha endeavors to nurture a sense of community within the multiple café locations. Boon Boona takes immense pride in providing an inclusive space for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized individuals, fostering an environment where all find solace and belonging. A mission akin to King's Dream Business Consulting's passion, Boon Boona is fuelled by an unwavering devotion to uplift the local community. Opening their welcoming glass doors to artists, non-profits, and small businesses as a catalyst to amplify their impact by providing pop-up spaces. In moments of social significance, like the Black Lives Matter movement, the small company offered free coffee, standing side by side in solidarity with the activists. Moreover, within the café walls, the café seamlessly integrates vital resources such as King County Libraries and the King County Health Care Plan Finder, striving to ensure convenient accessibility for all.


Boon Boona Coffee human resource consulting services with kings dream business consulting hr management for small businesses

"Boon" and "Boona" are both words that mean "coffee" in different languages of East Africa.


The Solution.


Consultants at King's Dream brainstormed weekly with Efrem on fostering a company culture that respects Boon Boona's staff diversity while complying with local and federal laws.


King's Dream and Boon Boona crossed paths during a time of mass layoffs, uncertainty, and small business closures sweeping the nation.

kings dream business consulting founder Jawan Harris standing next to Doug Baldwin of Seattle Seahawks

Boon Boona Coffee was one of King's Dream Consulting's first dozen accounts in 2020. The two businesses were introduced through former Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin Jr., who was looking for business support for the community businesses in his commercial investment portfolio.


In May of 2022, Fesaha was named Washington Small Business Person of the Year by SBA Seattle District, as well as Pacific Northwest Small Business Person of the Year, selected among state winners from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, making him one of 10 finalists for the SBA National Small Business Person of the Year. If you ask us, Efrem earned these awards for being an upstanding business leader by uplifting his staff and everyone he meets: togetherness, the spirit of the coffee ceremony that influenced the soaring company.


Most small businesses start out performing their own HR functions to control costs. This means that business owners may manage their own payroll and legal responsibilities. There comes a point for every business, though, where the costs of performing your own Human Resource duties will likely outweigh the benefits (employee benefits, that is). Here are the top three reasons to hire an HR consultant for your small business:

Expertise and Compliance:

Employee Engagement and Development:

Time and Cost Savings:

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, no national mandates state that a small business must have an HR team or manager. However, most experts recommend establishing a formal internal human resource function when a company reaches at least ten employees.


Small business owners like Efrem face the same widespread retention challenges prominent during the Great Resignation, but the stakes are much more personal due to limited capital and resources. Small business owners often struggle to manage their businesses while staying up-to-date with the latest human resources trends and complex labor policies at the local and federal levels. Creating workforce retention programs can be challenging for employers who already have a lot on their plate. Small business owners and consultants must be more creative than ever to maintain employee engagement.


The Result.


King's Dream advised Efrem on development programs, applying COVID restrictions, gratuities, hazard pay, safety considerations, and how to handle terminations and promotions. The Human Resource consultants at King's Dream helped Boon Boona remove barriers to growth by addressing the most critical area of the business. The people. Allowing Boon Boona to drive the business forward and produce deeper relationships with their employees and managers.


Boon Boona had grown enough to require a General Manager, which was a crucial hire for the company's coverage and to alleviate the workload of Efrem. King's Dream revised the job description, interviewed eligible candidates, took notes, and shortlisted the most fitting candidate. The company's consultants collaborated with the new GM to implement a human resource management system for better employee management and to maintain all personnel records electronically. Additionally, the consultants conducted HR audits following SHRM, the nation's largest HR community association, to standardize workplace safety and hiring documents.


Boon Boona has since rolled out two additional locations at Seattle University and the University of Washington, increasing their team size to over 15 members, including drivers, baristas, supervisors, managers, and production.

HR consultants can help with the unexpected and expected realities of managing teams of employees. It's beyond the serious legal implications of not maintaining personnel records or establishing an employee handbook. If you're building a company you intend to keep, you must invest in organizational culture. Nothing sparks internal innovation like happy and heard employees.

Media gallery.


If you are wondering whether or not it's time for your business to hire an HR consultant, contact us today for a free consultation.


Want to be our next success story? Contact us today for a free consultation.



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