Just recently New Awakenings Coffee & Café Shop had their Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting and was joined by Mayor Robert Ming, members of the Laguna Niguel Chamber, Congressional reps and several dozen more. In the first part of this story I shared my history and positive experience with the store, but there is more that needed to be shared, including what motivated Wossene and Dennis Bowler to import coffee from her home country of Ethiopia.In year 2000 Wossene and her husband were living in Singapore and attempting to get pregnant. Three days prior to her birthday she went to the doctor for a standard blood test and got a diagnosis she was not expecting: CML Leukemia. She had no symptoms and if not for her random test she may not have ever known and would have passed away quickly. An avid athlete, she played tennis daily, swam, rode her bike, and was a physically active, but within days she was put into chemo and the search went out for a bone marrow match which she found with her younger brother. Without that match she would not be here today.
Always full of spirit and spunk she ignored doctor’s warnings about symptoms and continued to live her life, exiting her hospital treatment after just one month instead of the six they suggested. As expected the treatments were difficult and painful, producing negative effects like totally darkened and cracking skin and hair growing under her eyes and on her face. One day after losing her food and taking a hot shower for relief she opened negotiations with God and said, “God if you truly made me in your image and if you save my life I promise to serve your people.” God seemingly listened since she exited the shower, felt the weight of her plight relived from her mind and was euphoric.She continued the treatment, but she did it pain free and without the normal negative effects, and she remains symptom free to this day.
Over the years she attempted to raise money for her newly founded charity, “Life’s Second Chance,” which is focused on raising money to build hospitals in Ethiopia and using imported coffee as a way to support that. Over 120 acres of land was donated to her cause by supporters in Ethiopia and since then she has removed the coffee from the charity and now runs New Awakenings as a “for-profit” business with a percentage of money going towards her charity as well as Wounded Warrior charity.
Some unique offerings from New Awakenings include catering, take out and private labeling for companies wishing to offer premium coffee for gifts.
The location is at 30242 Crown Valley in the Von’s Shopping Center across from City Hall. Call 481-8025 for more information.