• Jacque Coe

Ali Ghambari of Cherry Street Coffee House

Ali Ghambari came to the United States from Iran in 1979 and started working at Godfather’s Pizza before later joining B&O Espresso. He fell in love with the restaurant business and the concept of building community. For Ali, it was about being part of something meaningful. A ‘relationship,’ he says.

At B&O, he learned the coffee business and became a partner. But by 1996, he wanted to have his own brand and concept; a coffee shop that served up more than just coffee. Back in Iran, Ali says, coffee shops were a combination of coffee, tea and food. So, Ali developed Cherry Street Coffee House to serve up coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches, but so much more.

Ali says a good day is a warm ‘good morning!’ that makes people have a better day. “Every time we open a store, there is the excitement of knowing we can elevate love in the community,” he shares.

If we can make enough money to pay the bills and stay in business, that’s good he says.

Having been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, he says the underlying forces are changing and that’s just one reason why he’s engaged with the Seattle Restaurant Alliance. “I like the resources; that help us save money, stay current and also have a voice to elevate ourselves,” he says. Staying current with the changing climate is important, and he feels the restaurant alliance helps with that.

“The dynamics of our business are changing, because of the way people shop and do business and we’re all learning it together.”

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