Refugee and immigrant businesses strengthen chamber membership

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News


This week’s Northeast Chamber of Commerce Business Leader Page features two businesses in the 3700 block of Independence Avenue that are owned by African immigrants from two different provinces. Both owners came to the United States at roughly the same time as part of a refugee resettlement program sponsored by Jewish Vocational Services.


Regina Wan, owner of Pachuda’s African Hair Braiding at 3708 Independence Avenue, hails from South Sudan in Central Africa. Wan emigrated to the U.S. in 2002 and was resettled in Texas. Four months later, she traveled to Kansas City to be with family and has been here ever since.
Wan’s shop has been on the Avenue for about six years, most of that time in the same building. A fire inside a neighboring restaurant about six months ago forced her from her original spot to new digs at 3708 Independence Avenue.


“We are not so busy now,” Wan said. “But during tax season, all of these chairs will be full of people, men, women, kids, we do it all.”


Wan said depending on the style the customer wants, braiding can start at around $200 and run as high as $600 for longer, more detailed braids.
“I love the Northeast and the Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Bobbi has been a great help to us here,” Wan said.


Pachuda’s is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., often later on weekends.
Right next door to the east is Dural Rhama Halal, owned by Abdigadir Abdirahman and his wife Rahma Suleiman; both of whom are originally from Somali on the East African coast of the Arabian Sea.


Dural Rahma Halal carries a wide variety of canned and dried imported foods, mostly from Africa and Asia.


“All the food you see is halal,” Suleiman said. “We can also do halal meats, but that’s a custom order for special customers.”


The store is actually two stores in one – Suleiman owns and operates the front end of the space, selling perfumes, hair care and personal care items, all imported from various international countries.


Abdigadir and Rahma emigrated to the United States in 2004 from a refugee camp in Kenya. Jewish Family Services was their sponsoring organization and they settled in Kansas City. They have two children and live in the Lykins neighborhood.


Dural Rahma Halal is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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