HASTINGS, Neb. – Sidy Sissoko has spent the past three years tirelessly selling his own unique coffee beans at farmers markets and grocery stores across Nebraska. Now, his hard work has rewarded him with his own brick and mortar coffee shop in Hastings. 

But, Sissoko’s path to where he is today seemed unlikely when he was living in Africa as a teenager just over a decade ago.

"At that time, I didn't know what I was going to be doing, but I knew I would be getting my degree." said Sissoko.

The shop new shop is LD Coffee Roasters in West Hastings. 'LD' stands for LeNoir Dimbaya, which 'LeNoir' means 'black' in French, and 'Dimbaya' means family in an African Language.

Sissoko spent the first 15 years of his life in Mali and Senegal, Africa, before immigrating to the United States at age 15.

He discovered his first real career opportunity in basketball while attending high school in San Francisco.

Standing at 6'9, Sissoko excelled at the sport and earned several scholarship offers, to which he chose to attend Hastings College, bringing him to the city that would soon see him launch his career as an entrepreneur, unbeknownst to him at the time.

"Honestly if it wasn't for basketball, I don't know if I ever would be able to go to college in the first place," said Sissoko. "I didn't have the money for it, I'm the first generation immigrant in the United States, didn't have much support for me to go to college and pursue my dream."

While playing basketball for the Broncos, Sissoko tore his ACL for for a third time, ending his hoops career. Nevertheless, he persevered through his education and graduated in 2022 and dove into business.

Sissoko began roasting coffee in his dorm room at Hastings College, and made it into a business in 2021. LeNoir Dimbaya Coffee.

For the next several years, he would sell his product in grocery stores and at farmers markets in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, and Hastings, which he said helped him get his name and business on the map. He now has an in-person business after multiple years of planning and hard work. 

In his new store, all of Sissoko’s coffee beans are imported from east Africa, and he roasts them in house. The store also makes its own syrups, and serves all drinks in one size to stand out from other coffee shops.

"You don't want to come and do something that already exists," said Sissoko. "You're not making any change, or you're not benefiting the people who are looking for change."

Now, the store is the only coffee and food place in west Hastings, and stands largely alone besides other businesses still under construction in the renovation of the new Theater District.

LD Coffee Roasters is providing a breath of fresh air to the west end of town which has been business dormant for many years.

"It's just great to see growth out on the west side of town," said Hastings Chamber of Commerce Assistant Director Mikki Shafer. "It's largely residential, but the homes would like to have a little bit more businesses in walking distance, but it's a great start and we need to keep building on it. 

After a soft opening one month ago, LeNoir Dimbaya Coffee Roasters is now open seven days a week, and the Hastings community has taken to Facebook and other social media platforms to show their appreciation of Sissoko’s new business.