Abdirahman Kahin has no trouble sleeping. You’d think the owner of Afro Deli would, considering how much he fits into his schedule.
Aside from managing three — make that four in the spring — Afro Deli locations across the Twin Cities, Kahin recently sponsored the shipment of more than 110,000 books to Somalia and Djibouti through the St. Paul-based nonprofit Books for Africa.
Kahin came to Minnesota in 1997 from Somalia for better schooling and opportunities. In the late ’90s, Kahin said, finding East African community members and a centralized community was difficult. As more East Africans moved to the Twin Cities in the early 2000s, it became easier to find food he grew up with, people to go to the mosque with and friends to play soccer with. In 2010, Kahin and former owner Faruk Cingilli opened their first Afro Deli location in Cedar Riverside.
The original mission behind Afro Deli was to bring communities together through food by creating an approachable menu with classic bites and some creativity. On the menu, customers can find cheeseburgers below Somali steak sandwiches and gyros, sambusas (a Somali stuffed pastry) and hot and spicy chicken wings.