Industry Trends

Cafe Avole: A Catalyst for Connection, Community, and Discovery

1:1 with Gavin Amos, owner/operator of Cafe Avole about how Ethiopian coffee and the cafe are a place growth and connection for this Seattle neighborhood.

In May, the joe team took to the Seattle coffee community and stopped in at a few of our original and most valuable coffee shop partners. First up, Cafe Avole, who partnered with joe in 2018, in their newest cafe located in the heart of Seattle's Central District.  

In this conversation, Mario, joe Success Manager, talks with Gavin Amos Co-owner of Cafe Avole about how their traditional Ethiopian coffee and cafe as a third space, are a catalyst for a more diverse community and modern connection.


Q: First off, can you tell us about the tradition of Avole Coffee? 

A: "Avole is an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, brewed in a traditional Jebena pot. It uses the coffee grounds three times, so the freshest pot is the first pot and it’s called ‘avole’

If I were to roast coffee now the whole neighborhood is coming through. And traditionally if you smell it and ask what pot it is and I say avole, you’re going to know it’s the freshest and best pot. Then you’ll stick around, hang out and talk about life.”


Q: What do you love most about the coffee community?

A: "The best part about coffee, is it’s one of the few places where you can meet people from all parts of society, all levels of social status and you can create connection and community with that."


Q: Can you tell us about the Ethiopian beans Avole uses and they're so important? 

A: "Avole Coffee roasts our own beans. And it used to be a huge part of our original shop because we used to roast them in the middle of the shop, next to the point of sale. So as people ordered they were able to see green coffee be roasted in front of them. So we were able to illuminate some of the back of house operations.

But more importantly, we’re able to control the quality of the coffee, and also be able to continue a lot of the culture of Ethiopian coffee because we roast our own beans. We take pride in being able to source them from Ethiopia importers, so we can retain a lot of the value of the community and we’re able to grow our economic standing. That’s the really cool part."


Q: What does it mean being a black, African coffee shop using beans coming directly from Ethiopia? Why is that so important for coffee?

A: “That was part of my vision that I brought to Avole. I wanted to do Ethiopian coffee, but I wanted to work with someone in the industry. I wanted to work with someone my age, who has the industry knowledge, and that’s when I met Soloman and we became partners. I wanted to help build a pan-African experience, where people from all parts of the African diaspora can come and build culture, and also be able to share with other folks.

That’s one of the things we take a lot of pride in at Avole, we have a very diverse customer base. People are able to engage in discovery together. It’s really exciting and I enjoy it a lot. I love that we’re in the Central District and help retain a lot of the heritage that’s here and be able to be a forum for folks to be able to meet, hang out, reconnect, and build new connections."


Q: Avole is one of the very first joe partners. If you were to say one thing about partnering joe, over the period of time we’ve worked together, what would it be?

A: “I love that joe introduces my store and offerings to different customer bases that may not be aware of us, or what we have. They offer all of our menu options for customers to see and choose from. We’re at that point now that joe is bringing new customers to the door and I love that. I love seeing that. I love seeing the growth and I feel like we’re growing together.”



At joe, we take pride in supporting coffee shop owners like Gavin and their mission to serve. With technology built for coffee, joe helps independent coffee shop owners open, operate, and grow their coffee shop effortlessly. Chat with a team member to find your right fit. 

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