Grant Park Coffeehouse owner Rahel Tafari (center), with ACE Commercial Loan Officer Chris Clay (right).

Grant Park Coffeehouse (GPC) has been a neighborhood staple since it was opened by owner Rahel Tafari on the corner of Cherokee and Augusta avenues in 2010, across from Zoo Atlanta. Tafari has been in the restaurant business since she was a little girl. Her parents and grandparents owned and operated a restaurant in her native country of Ethiopia, where she recalls helping both her mother & grandmother cook and serve customers. The coffee shop and café, with its friendly staff and park-facing patio, serves fair trade coffee and coffee drinks, breakfast, handmade sandwiches, fresh-baked pastries, and ice cream. The café also has catering services.

Annual revenues for the business had been consistent until 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. During the pandemic, GPC was still able to support (and be supported by) the community by filling “to-go” and “delivery” orders. They were also the only business in the neighborhood that remained open. Once Tafari decided to expand her business by purchasing a building, she was disappointed when she was denied funding by her bank which she had been with for 25 years.

Tafari came to ACE through a referral from InvestAtlanta. Her first ACE loan provided funds to finance the purchase of building through a special program designed for Small Business Resilience and Recovery, which also includes ACE’s business advisory services. Her financial advisor counseled her by providing education on the loan, finding additional opportunities, and how to use the funds she received.

Working with ACE’s Resilience, Recovery and Reinvention program made it possible for Ms. Tafari to close on a commercial loan to purchase her new location off Georgia Ave just a block away from her founding location near the Atlanta Zoo. The reopening of Grant Park Coffeehhouse has been highly anticipated for the cherished establishment in the Grant Park Community. After roughly 4 months of renovations the new location opened summer of 2022. As owner and chef, Mrs. Tafari takes great pride in the fact that everything they make is made from scratch with a homemade taste. She is currently living her dream of owning her own restaurant- and that dream has become Grant Park Coffeehouse!

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