MINNEAPOLIS — Abdirahan Kahin won a distinguished honor this week from the U.S. Small Business Administration. He was named the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year. 

"I am overwhelmed. It is not only my effort but teamwork," Kahin said. 

Kahin owns four Afro Deli locations across the Twin Cities. He has a fifth one in the works set to open in 2024. The restaurants are a product of Kahin's goal to share culture with Minnesotans. 

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"Bridging gaps between the communities, it's something I really enjoy when I see people enjoying African food," Kahin said. 

He opened his first location in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in 2011. He says he specifically picked a location around the University of Minnesota. 

"I believe when you own a restaurant you own space for community," Kahin said. 

Kahin's journey hasn't been easy. He had to permanently close a location during the pandemic. Even through his losses, he did what he could to help others during Covid19, including making meals for frontline workers.

"Food always brings people together," Kahin said. 

The national honor will be announced during National Small Business Week in early May.

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