Having traveled from Ethiopia in 1987, Berhane Amanuel – owner of East African Imports – decided to settle in Seattle and has since made his mark on the community, particularly after opening his Central Area store in 2002 and coinciding restaurant about eight years later.
In collaboration with his wife Megan Eyre, the duo aimed to bring exceptional quality foods, spices and products from Ethiopia to the United States. Starting with their retail and wholesale business and expanding to a restaurant, the location is regarded as the best in East African and Ethiopian cuisines and imports, offering visitors a unique dining and shopping experience.
In fact, its authenticity is unparalleled as Berhane and Megan grind and blend their own spices, which are imported – in addition to coffee, tea, teff, grains, baskets, clothing and more – directly from Berhane’s mother, who runs operations in Ethiopia.
For these reasons and many more, Vulcan Real Estate has played a key role in ensuring East African Imports’ store and restaurant remain in the Central Area neighborhood. With the upcoming redevelopment of the south parcel at the intersection of 23rd and Jackson where the store and restaurant currently reside, Vulcan is happy to officially announce that the business is relocating to the north parcel in January 2018.
“We greatly appreciate working with East African Imports to relocate its store and restaurant nearby,” said Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate at Vulcan Inc. “And we are happy to see that these authentic food items and products will continue to be available in the neighborhood.”
The restaurant and store will temporarily close for relocation on Tuesday, December 26 and Sunday, December 31, respectively. The new space is projected to open early to mid-January at 306 23rd Ave S #104 with increased street visibility.
“Vulcan Real Estate has been very helpful. If not for them, I would have had to close,” said Berhane Amanuel, owner of East African Imports. “While I could’ve taken my store and restaurant elsewhere, I am excited to stay in the neighborhood and have more exposure on the other [north] side of 23rd and Jackson.”