SARA TEBEGE // Mahaza Cafe, Traditional Ethiopian Cafe

Sara was born in Ethiopia and spent most of her life there until moving to Eritrea as a young girl. Sara relocated to the United States in December of 2014 as a refugee. She has been residing in Oakland ever since. Though there is a lot of Ethiopian food available in Oakland and the East Bay, Sara has fond memories of the social aspects of mealtime in her homeland. She remembers both cooking and eating as activities that the whole family, as well as friends, did together. Having a meal was not just about eating but about sharing with one another to nurture a community and come together as a family. She recalls a feeling of ceremony connected to food that was a huge part of her life in Ethiopia.

At the young age of 23, Sara’s long term goal is to open a traditional Ethiopian coffee shop. As an aspiring café owner, Sara wants to share the sacredness of food in her newfound home and wants to create a cafe where people can slow down, gather, and chat with friends and family without the hustle and bustle of city life. As a part of this effort, she recently completed her course at 1951 Coffee Company.

A signature dish she would like to offer at her future cafe is Anababiru, a traditional homestyle bread that is a staple in Ethiopian households but hard to find in Oakland. The bread is typically the same size as injera, made using a matad. Traditionally, Anababiru is similar to a savory layered crepe, being layered three times with Awaze (berbere spiced butter) spread in-between each layer. She recalls eagerly waiting for the bread to be served because it marked the start of the day. No one was allowed to leave their house, go to church, or even begin to eat their meals until they had eaten Anababiru.

As a part of the Open Test Kitchen, Sara would like to test and share her version of an open-faced Anababiru, serving a single layer of bread along with Misr Wot (red lentils), Doro Tibs (spicy chicken), and Awaze (berbere spiced butter).

GET TO KNOW SARA & ASK HER ABOUT: The name of her future cafe and what it means to her || Her recent graduation from 1951 Coffee Company || Her experience living in Oakland 

HELP SUPPORT SARA WITH: Logo design || Web design || Marketing strategy || Social media || Part-time employment || Additional training opportunities

VOLUNTEER TODAY: Are you interested in helping Sara? Get in touch with us and let us know how you’d like to get involved!

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