Black-owned coffee shop featured in DC Startup Week coming to H Street

Jaliyaa Coffee is set to open on D.C.’s H Street NE in late October, along with a coffee truck that will roam around the city at the beginning of the month.

Twenty-nine-year-old Mohamed Jalloh, who is from Sierra Leone, is the founder and owner of the company. He told WTOP that the name has a special meaning.

“Jaliyaa is a form of storytelling, it’s how the Mali empire passed down their history through generations,” Jalloh said.

Jaliyaa made its big debut at D.C. Startup Week, with a soft launch. The upcoming store will be located on the 1400 block of H Street in Northeast.

“It feels good to be able to bring a Black-owned coffee shop to D.C.,” Jalloh said. “In D.C., Black-owned coffee shops are not represented enough.”

His coffee beans are being imported from countries in Africa, like Ethiopia and Tanzania, and he’ll use proceeds from his business to help support charities locally and abroad.

“We’re going to be giving 5% of our proceeds toward fighting food hunger, to countries that our coffee comes from, as well as in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

His goal is to one day be available in many locations.

“We want our coffee to be served around the world, we want our coffee to be in the grocery stores,” he said.

Anna-Lysa Gayle

Anna-Lysa Gayle is an award-winning reporter and anchor, with five Emmy awards and more. Before joining WTOP, she spent nearly a decade as a TV news reporter for ABC and CBS news affiliates.

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