Alyza Bohbot James, Owner and CEO

Alakef Coffee Roasters and City Girl Coffee

As owner and CEO of Alakef Coffee Roasters, Alyza leads the specialty coffee roasting company that her family founded in 1990 in Duluth, Minnesota.  Alakef Coffee Roasters today provides responsibly sourced and produced coffee to grocery stores, co-ops, coffee shops, Universities, and restaurants throughout the Midwest, and online to retailers and consumers.


Shortly after taking over company reins in 2014, she launched an entirely new brand, City Girl Coffee, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, featuring USDA Organic Certified blends. She is keeping Alakef’s longstanding support of the coffee industry alive – with a special focus on women. City Girl Coffee empowers women by sourcing as many beans as possible from women coffee farmers throughout the world. A portion of every sale goes to organizations that work to provide these women access to funding, education, resources, and more.  In January of 2021, Alyza launched The City Girl Empower Hour, an inspiring new podcast serving up grounded advice and whole bean wisdom on how listeners can succeed in both their personal and professional lives.


Alyza takes an active role in the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and its Women in Leadership program. She is a member of the Minnesota Leadership class of 2017, and currently sits on the Minnesota Chamber’s Board of Directors. She was recognized by the Minneapolis Business Journal as a recipient of its 2017 40 under 40 award, and by Minnesota Business Magazine as one its Women Who Lead. Awarded the Future Forward award from the WBDC for her business acumen, marketing savvy and entrepreneurial spirit. Most recently, she was awarded the Wavemaker award by Team MN Women for making waves in her community, profession, and for her demonstration of outstanding achievement, entrepreneurial spirit and initiative through leadership within her profession and community.

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