Ethiopian refugee and 33-year old single mother Adi Tefera arrived in Australia as a young child. Today she keeps herself busy in Sydney with her young son Yonathon along with her passion for food and a rapidly expanding pipeline of new business projects.
Adi Tefera photographed by William Robinson in Summer Hill.
As part of the SSI IgniteAbility program and in recognition of her strong entrepreneurial spirit, Ms Tefera was selected to run a morning coffee business at the Four Brave Women café in Summer Hill. She serves coffee that is sustainably sourced from Ethiopia, as well as hot chocolate, and chai and spiced tea.
At Four Brave Women, Ms Tefera offers takeaway breakfast foods influenced by her Ethiopian and Eritrean background, including kita firfir, a spicy-savoury pancake dish, and teff chocolate brownies. Her plans for the future include the desire to run traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies in the shop.
Her coffee business is thriving with the support of the local community. Ms Tefera is diving into all aspects of the business from selecting coffee beans and blends to engaging suppliers, developing recipes, marketing, and financial planning.
In collaboration with her facilitator at the IgniteAbility program, Ms Tefera has set herself some exciting goals, including running a market stall at Marrickville Street Food Markets, focussing on traditional vegetarian Ethiopian cuisine.
She also plans to produce a series of YouTube tutorials on Ethiopian cultural-cooking and recipes, traditional Ethiopian health and wellness remedies, and upcycled life hacks.
“My dream is to own an Ethiopian restaurant – a vegetarian restaurant, so I can share the culture and the dance and the food, the coffee,” she said in a recent interview with ABC News.
Ms Tefera is eager to create a contemporary Ethiopian cookbook for the Australian market. She plans to develop a website and an online platform that will channel and centralise all her activities, and ultimately, offer her products online for sale.
“I had nothing when I came to Australia — this [IgniteAbility] program is great for any refugee wanting to create a better future for themselves in Australia,” Ms Tefera said.
While Ms Tefera says that as a single mother, it is difficult to manage all her projects, it’s an opportunity she is embracing, both for herself and her young son.
“[My] son had tears when he found out I was involved in running a new business — it's so nice to see that he is proud of me, and I am proud of what I have achieved,” she said.
To follow Adi’s journey, follow her Instagram page: www.instagram.com/adis_kitchen/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/adiscoffeeandkitchen/