CasaKeza was founded in 2016 by Maia Gedde, a British-Spanish national, as Rwanda's first tapas bar. A place for families and friends to relax from the stress of the city. Over the years it has provided a crossing point for Spanish culture in Rwanda, with language lessons, food and cultural events. Maia has recruited and personally trained many of the staff at CasaKeza. Although she relocated to Spain in 2018, she continues to take an active role in the business and the future of everyone working there.
Victor Monroy is a Guatemalan national who ran an orphanage in Rwanda for thirteen years. He became a shareholder in the business in 2017. Since it first opened, CasaKeza has been a sanctuary for many of the men and women who grew up at the orphanage, providing vital skills training and social opportunities as they transitioned into adulthood.
CasaKeza is more than a restaurant. It is a family for those who work hear. Watch this video to learn more about our staff and what CasaKeza means to them.
When CasaKeza first opened in 2016, we did so with a ten-year lease. Over time, we have built up the business, expanded the menu and sublet parts of the building to other businesses. We have also turned the upstairs into two guest apartments and built a third stand-alone apartment which we rent out on AirBnB. Combines, the restaurant, partner businesses and apartments help to provide a steady income and have helped to keep the business profitable even through COVID.
We have survived tough times over the past two years, but we thought blue skies lay ahead. Then, in July 2022, the owner of the building decided to renege on the ten-year lease as he wanted to invest in a building project. We have been given six months to raise $250,000 or lose the building.
Although there is the option to move to a new location, we have poured so much love and time into building CasaKeza, that it would be heart-breaking to have to move. There is something very special about the garden, our regulars frequently say how peaceful it is and every weekend it is packed with children and community activities. It would be extremely costly to move and potentially very difficult to find another building that could accommodate the same number of rental spaces.
The bottom line is that CasaKeza is profitable, it does make money, but we cannot make $250,000 in such a short space of time. We are desperately looking for a long-term loan to help us to buy the business. Bank loans in Rwanda have an extremely high rate of interest, so that is not an option. But we have outlined what we feel we could repay in the document below. This provides an overview of the business, but we would welcome the chance to discuss the details in person.
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