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HomebusinessBahja Alinoor: 24-year-old University Dropout Running a Successful Restaurant in Nairobi's Kilimani

Bahja Alinoor: 24-year-old University Dropout Running a Successful Restaurant in Nairobi’s Kilimani

Bahja Alinoor is the founder of Canopy Café located in Ushuru Sacco Plaza, Kilimani, Nairobi.

The restaurant offers brunch, salads, burgers, bittings, dessert, pastry and drinks including coffee, non-coffee and milkshakes.

Bahja had the idea of running a coffeeshop while she was 14, but she eventually set up her business after quitting her studies.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Bahja, 24, is the owner of Canopy Café, a high-end restaurant in Wood Avenue, Kilimani.

The entrepreneur who is the youngest of nine children established the restaurant after dropping her studies in university.

According to an article on Eastleigh Voice, Bahja completed her high school education and proceeded to university but she later dropped out after realizing she was no longer passionate about it.

It was then when she decided to set up a business in the hospitality industry, thanks to her love for coffee and having an interest in community gatherings.

“The only way I could be around coffee and people was by starting a café,” she said.

Additionally, Bahja noted that the idea to set up a restaurant was on top of her wishlist since she was about 14 years old.

“It was when I was 19 when I started mapping and looking for a space, I was struggling in university,” she said.

In November 2022, Canopy Café was finally launched, and it was not long before it became a popular spot especially among the youth.

Known for its ambience and extensive menu, the restaurant serves hundreds of customers daily who walk in to experience their unique taste.

Canopy Café PHOTO/UGC

Additionally, people from Eastleigh converge at the restaurant most of the times not only to support their own but also socialise and build networks.

In an interview, Bahja said she was inspired to get into the business by her parents who have instilled a strong work ethic in her.

“If I’m feeling burnt out, I go to the mosque because that’s the only way I could talk to my creator,” she said.

Additionally, Bahja visits other restaurants and food joints on her off days to observe their offerings and other services in a bid to gain more experience.

Canopy Café offers among other delicacies, Full English breakfast, avocado trust, smoked salmon benedict, orange and lemon poppy pancakes, tiramisu french toast and house waffles.

Additionally, they offer an array of bittings including fries, nachos, chicken nuggets, falafel bites, fish fingers, samosas and spring rolls.

Different burgers including Canopy sweet chicken, Canopy crispy chicken, beef burger and veggie burger are also served at the restaurant.

Other offerings are French fries and chicken wings which are served as sides, different milkshakes, coffee and non-coffee drinks as well as dessert and pastry.

The restaurant is open Monday to Friday, 9AM to 9:30PM, and 9AM to 10PM on Saturdays and Sundays.