Pakistani family launches cafe with organic food and Italian coffee
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Iqbal Hussain has started several businesses from scratch in his native Pakistan. And when he wanted to emigrate to the United States, he knew he would have to start his business from scratch.
He started out by becoming an EB5 investor – an immigrant program – to get his green card.
With friends already living in the borough, it wasn’t long before he fell in love with Staten Island, said his son, Qasim Iqbal, who recently moved here from England.
“My father came here in December 2017.… Back in Pakistan, he had factories, restaurants and a banquet hall. … So he had experience in the food industry, ”Iqbal said.
“He had to make his way here too, because he left everything at home,” he added.
Together, the couple, with the help of Iqbal’s two siblings – Fatima and Haseeh Iqbal – opened the 2,000 square foot Beans Café & Grill (AKA Busy Beans) on Hylan Boulevard, Grant City, earlier this this month.
CREATE A COFFEE
Initially, the couple would buy into a franchise, like Starbucks. But, instead, they chose to put their personal stamp on a unique cafe, where you can have everything from a fresh, organic salad and Kombucha drinks, to a pastry shop and Lavazza coffee from Italy.
“We did our homework and saw that Staten Island has a large Italian-American population,” Iqbal said, of their choice to open an Italian bakery and serve imported coffee in the cafe.
CHOOSE STATEN ISLAND
The father / son team chose to open on Staten Island in a high traffic area on Hylan Boulevard in order to take advantage of lower rents than in other New York boroughs.
“We thought Staten Island had more opportunities,” Iqbal said. “We have a lot of friends here and we know Staten Island is full of hard working people.”
The owners pride themselves on providing “prompt service”.
“The Staten Islanders work hard all day; they want to stop and get food quickly, ”Iqbal said. “We make burgers, kebabs and more. All our meats are also organic.
COFFEE & GRILLED BEANS AT A GLANCE
Address: 2026 Hylan Blvd, Grant City
New Businesses in Focus is a weekly column that chronicles the stories of new Staten Island business owners.
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