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Conversations with Helina Melaku

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helina Melaku. 

Hi Helina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It all started in my home town Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a child, I was always in the kitchen watching my mother cook and being a helping hand to her. The passion for cooking steamed from my mother, Aunt, and Grandmother. Naturally cooking became a love of mine. 

As an immigrant adjusting to American culture, I learned quickly the importance of cultivating relationships with friends. I always enjoyed having family and friends around, and that would usually pertain to us indulging in various homegrown authentic food, coffee, and desserts. 

Fast forward to January 2020, I thought about the idea of curating Konjo Me, I presented the idea to family, and friends, and of course they loved the idea and were supportive of my new journey. I started Konjo Me officially March 2020, just in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Thinking back, timing is everything and although the pandemic hit, things worked out gracefully with the support of friends and family. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting Konjo me in the midst of a global pandemic was challenging for businesses in general, but the support of our community as well as our loyal customers who started this journey with us inspired us to keep going. And bringing authentic Ethiopian cuisine to Metro-Detroit has been a pleasure! 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’ve always been in the hospitality business, all the profound knowledge I gained from the industry set me up to birth Konjo me. Also, going to college and completing my degree helped me with the tools I needed to have positive relationships, and create connections with people. I am most proud of my culture, it is who I am. Bringing authentic Ethiopian cuisine to places who have never experienced the taste is what drives me to continue my journey, and what sets me apart from others is that I am bringing an experience, that is only experienced through our Ethiopian food, spices, and coffee. 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Authenticity, the ability to connect with people, and the importance of having a team is important to success. When you have a solid team building a foundation, it allows ideas to flow, and growth is exponential.

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1 Comment

  1. Eshete melaku

    February 23, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Great idea . Ethiopian food is always finger liking. You have all my support any time . Good job

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