Zumi’s supremo honored by immigrant business group

Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi's, serves Jill and Paisly Politano
Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi's, serves Jill and Paisly Politano

IPSWICH — Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi’s, has been nominated for a 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur Award.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards were organized by the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) in Malden, and Bhuju’s nomination was one of 19 in the “neighborhood business” category.

In all, 40 people from 24 different countries were nominated in four different categories. The countries represented were from as close as Canada and as far away as Nepal.

“These entrepreneurs answer the question, ‘Why do we invite people from all these countries to live here?’” said ILC Founder and CEO Diane Portnoy.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of many neighborhoods. They provide needed goods and services, local jobs, and they give back to their communities,” the center said in a press release.

Originally from Nepal, Bhuju opened Zumi’s in 2003 after he was laid off from his job in Newton, where he worked as a database administrator, according to an old Boston.com profile.

“His short experience working in coffee shops in college inspired Bhuju to start his own,” the article said.

Zumi’s buys only fair trade and organic coffee. Bhuju is also active in a number of community organizations, such as the Lions Club.

The next step in the competition is for a committee of experts in each area to review the nominations and select a winner in each category.

The winners will be announced at The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner on May 3 where Jay Ash, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, is the special speaker.