Bogalech Marrero opened Awash Ethopian Restaurant in 1994, 27 years ago. Inspired and supported by her sisters, Bogalech says “it was only natural that [her] leadership skills and love for community and food led [her] to [her] path now,” as a restaurateur. Awash provides traditional Ethiopian cuisine, “bringing a glimpse of the Horn of Africa to NYC.” Coming from a family of great cooks, Bogalech sees Ethiopian culture food as an intricate part of every social occasion. 

Bogalech Marrero is a small business wonder woman because of her commitment to creating community, and her “joy in bringing what makes [her] happy to people of all walks of life.” Her experience as a black woman and an immigrant has also inspired her to open up her own restaurant, so that it may be a “safe space in which everyone can feel welcomed.” She describes: “When I came to America in the 70’s, I remember how much of a culture shock it was. I remember doing various jobs in restaurants to make ends meet and enduring a lot of prejudices for being a black woman. I’ll never forget many years ago, I started my shift at the diner I was working at the time and a customer refused to be served by me because of the color of my skin.” With the help of her sisters and the support of the Upper West Side neighborhood, Bogalech opened Awash and credits her perseverance and hard work for making her into the strong woman she is today.

Awash has 21 workers, and Bogalech has mentored her son and daughter in the business, “showing them that authenticity and hard work can get you very far.” Her goal is to expand Awash and “bring the aromas and flavors of [her] childhood to more parts of NYC.”

You can find Awash on Instagram @Awash_brooklyn.

Awash Ethiopian

947 Amsterdam Ave.