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  • Ahmed Saleh

Saudi café in Washington mall fosters cultural exchange through coffee and desserts

Washington, November 06, 2023, Nestled within Washington's renowned mall is a Saudi café that has evolved into a cultural hub, drawing not only Saudi and Arab residents but also locals eager to savor the Kingdom's coffee and traditional desserts.

Bandar Al-Hanaki, a US-based student, embarked on a mission to introduce Saudi culture and its cherished coffee tradition to the American market. With Saudi coffee's growing international presence, he seized the opportunity to establish a culinary bridge between the two nations.

The café's journey began in 2019 when it started offering Saudi coffee alongside an array of delectable desserts. An innovative twist came with the "coffee hour" event at a US university, where complimentary cups of Saudi coffee quickly captured the interest of attendees. The positive response, particularly from Arab communities craving an authentic taste of Saudi coffee, paved the way for the café's creation.

Al-Hanaki's efforts did not go unnoticed, as the US media spotlighted the café during Ramadan, further fueling its popularity. In a remarkable turn of events, more than 60% of the café's clientele soon comprised local residents, attesting to its appeal beyond cultural boundaries.

In his call to action, Al-Hanaki encourages fellow students to follow suit by taking the initiative to showcase their countries' unique cultures and traditions, creating vibrant spaces that celebrate diversity and foster cultural exchange.

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