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Storefront Repair Fund Awards 600th Check to King’s Deli and Grocery

Owning and operating a business is a lot of work. Beruck Tewolde is not only the owner of King’s Deli and Grocery in Madrona, he’s the only employee.

Beruck Tewolde owns and operates King’s Deli and Grocery.

“It has a lot of challenges,” he explains. “You have to work more. But if you work hard, you see the profit.”

Tewolde knows how to serve his customers. At lunchtime, you’ll usually find students from Garfield High School and other nearby schools stopping in for fried chicken or soft serve ice cream. He added more Ethiopian foods and ingredients to his shelves when a nearby Ethiopian market shuttered. He’s also had to navigate keeping his store open despite multiple break-ins that damaged his storefront.

The latest break-in happened in February. The burglars stole the cash register and broke the glass door. Making it even more difficult, Tewolde’s son was born just days before the incident.

Security camera photo shows people breaking through the door.

“My son was only seven days old. He had a doctor’s appointment that morning,” he says. He ended up asking his brother to go to the hospital with his wife while he dealt with the aftermath of the burglary.  

To help with the repairs, Tewolde applied for a Storefront Repair Fund grant. Eligible businesses can apply for $2,000 grants to help cover the costs of repairing property damage to their store. Tewolde received the 600th check issued by our office, totaling $1.2 million invested to date in helping businesses make repairs.

“We established this grant with the dual objective of providing businesses with essential relief following unfortunate incidents and enhancing our support for the small businesses that thrive in our city,” says Domonique Meeks, small business advocate at the Seattle Office of Economic Development. “We firmly believe that fostering connections to resources and trusted partners amplifies everyone’s capacity for success.”  

Left: Damaged door. Right: Repaired Door.

This is the second Storefront Repair Fund grant Tewolde has received. In November 2022, three people backed a van into the side of the store.

“We closed almost two months. They hit the foundation. The whole side [of the building] was smashed,” Tewolde explains.

Tewolde adds fried chicken to a to-go container.

The three men were caught on camera taking the cash register and various merchandise. On top of damaging the foundation, the incident broke the door, security gate, windows, food warmer, and other equipment. Tewolde says receiving grant money from our office helped him rebuild.

“It’s very helpful. I am happy [OED] helped me twice,” he says.

Now that the repairs from the latest break-in are complete, Tewolde is focusing on keeping his customers happy. That means the possibility of new food items and starting to hire more people. No matter what the future brings, Tewolde says he’ll keep working hard.

“My goal right now, I don’t know,” he says. “But I’m still working here.”

Our office is dedicated to serving Seattle’s small businesses. These businesses not only drive our economy but are a key element of what makes our neighborhoods unique.

Funds are still available for the Storefront Repair Fund. Business owners can apply for $2,000 grants to help cover costs to repair current property damage or reimburse business owners for costs paid out of pocket for past damage. Eligible storefront property damage includes broken doors, locks, and windows that occurred on or after March 1, 2020. Interested businesses can review full eligibility criteria and apply here.