Minnesota’s Unofficial Ambassador? The Afro Deli Owner Takes on Diplomacy!

Minnesota's Unofficial Ambassador? The Afro Deli Owner Takes On Diplomacy!

On Tuesday June 6, 2023, a remarkable event occurred, the likes of which few of us have ever seen before. In what can only be described as a moment of unparalleled perplexity and unpredictability, the owner of Afro Deli, Abdirahman Kahin, has become Minnesota’s unofficial diplomat! Yes, you read that correctly. Not only is he building a thriving restaurant chain, but he’s also become a beacon for the great state of Minnesota.

Hold onto your seats, folks, because the excitement doesn’t stop there. On the 6th of June, 2023, Kahin was in Paris, helping promote Minnesota as the host for the 2027 World’s Fair Specialized Expo! Unbelievable, isn’t it?

- Advertisement -

He wasn’t alone, either. Kahin was presenting to an audience of diplomats and delegates from African countries, who will ultimately decide which of five international cities gets to host the expo. The tension and anticipation in the room must have been palpable.

To catch up on what led to this incredible moment, we need to go back to 2010 when Kahin, who was born in Somalia and raised in Djibouti, opened the first Afro Deli in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. And what a success that turned out to be! He’s since added locations near the University of Minnesota and in the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

But Kahin is not content to rest on his laurels. Oh no, he has big plans. He’s planning to open another eatery in a new building near Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue in late 2024 or early 2025. And he’s targeting Burnsville Center for a restaurant in 2024 or 2025. He’s certainly keeping us all on our toes.

And why was he in Paris, you ask? “I’m an activist before being a business person, so anything that I can do to help the country and the state, I am willing to do,” he said. And with a large African diaspora in Minnesota and the US, the expo would provide opportunities for African countries if it’s held here. Kahin is certainly a man with a plan!

One person who was clearly impressed with Kahin’s diplomatic skills was Minnesota USA Expo 2027 board member Mark Ritchie. “His description of how Minnesota made it possible for him to get started in business and to grow and to be successful and to give back to his community is a dramatic story,” Ritchie said. You can feel the energy and admiration buzzing through the air!

So what’s next for Kahin? Well, he’s meeting with investors as he hopes to take Afro Deli’s fast-casual African fusion concept national, while continuing to help with the expo bid. Who knows what the future holds for him? All we know for certain is that he’s a force to be reckoned with and Minnesota is lucky to have him.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept