In January of 2021, BOC Counselor Megha Tuladhar stopped at Dawa’s as an outreach effort by BOC to local businesses.
Dawa’s is a Tibetan and American cafe in Woodside, Queens run by owner Dawa Bhuti along with her father, Ngodup Gyaltsen, and an uncle, Lobsang Tenzin. Her family roots are in Dzonga, Tibet, a village in the Himalayas at an altitude of some 13,500 feet. Ms. Bhuti was born across the border of Tibet, in Kathmandu, Nepal, and she spent much of her youth in India at boarding schools for Tibetan refugees, before coming to New York in 2004 at the age of 20.
Dawa’s father Ngodup arrived in the United States as a Tibetan refugee in 2013 and started his business by delivering homemade lunch boxes to Tibetans working at farmers’ markets while Dawa attended culinary school. Ms. Dawa appeared on several cooking shows such as Mercer Kitchen and Rouge Tomate.
The restaurant’s menu of ethnic Himalayan plates pays homage to the hometown Dawa’s father had to leave behind. In 2016, Dawa became the operator of their Woodside storefront, renovating and introducing a new menu.
Like most restaurant businesses in Queens, Dawa’s had to temporarily close for several months due to the pandemic. This setback impacted business revenue, and resulted in their having to lay off part-time employees, and having difficulty making rent payments.
In January of 2021, BOC Counselor Megha Tuladhar stopped at Dawa’s as an outreach effort by BOC to local businesses. From there, she began working with Dawa Bhuti to provide pandemic relief information and support. Ms. Tuladhar was able to help Dawa understand and apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Queens Small Business Grant.
Dawa’s received $20,000 from the Queens Small Business Grant Program in March of 2021 and was able to use the funds to pay commercial rent, provide safety equipment for staff, and fulfill other business-related expenses as well. In addition, BOC provided Dawa with extensive technical assistance with other grant opportunity applications.
Now, Dawa’s remains open in Woodside, Queens, with additional employees, offering full menu service and online ordering!
“They gave us an opportunity. They gave us a huge opportunity. That was really a revival for our business.”
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