Zabuni Coffee Auction gets approved for $100k grant

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A $100,000 Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation grant was just approved for Zabuni Specialty Coffee Auction. The grant will be going towards the hiring and training of ten new employees.

Zabuni Specialty Coffee Auction will be located downtown Grand Island on Walnut Street. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

The new business will be bringing coffee beans from Kenya all the way to Grand Island. It will be a distribution center shipping 80 kilo bags of their unroasted beans across the North American market.

The new trade deal benefits Kenya coffee farmers, but also many companies here in Nebraska.

"It's opened up a lot of different areas," GI Area Economic Development Corporation President, Dave Taylor, told Local4 News. "When we took a trade delegation to Kenya, we brought with us irrigation, rain handling, rain storage, some PR people and animal protein specialist. It was multifaceted what we wanted to bring over there."

Taylor has been working with Zabuni owner Laban Njuguna for two years on getting this project started.

"He's just continued with that dream," Taylor said. "He's done other entrepreneurial things, but this is one that's always been in the back of his mind. We were able to help him through the business plan and through the process so he can actually achieve his dream."

The first shipment of beans is being prepared in Kenya right now. It will soon begin the 45 day boat trip to the US.