African communities pride themselves on preparing traditional fare with vegetables, meats and spices from their home countries, something a local food market in London, Ont. supplies.
Payless African and Caribbean Food Market opened its doors at 875 Hamilton Rd. nearly two years ago, answering the call from local friends and family for ingredients from home. At the time, the couple was living in Caledon, Ontario.
“We saw a need here and I began to persuade my husband to drop his construction work and open an African market,” said Ade Taiwo, co-owner of Payless African and Caribbean Food Market.
“Eventually he agreed and we moved to London.”
Ade was the first of the Taiwo family to arrive in Canada from Nigeria in 2006. Her husband Yemi and their four children followed in 2009, first settling in Brampton. The family then moved to Caledon for a time before calling London home in 2017.
They spent a number of weekends travelling between Caledon and London to find a place to live and scout out a store location. Payless Market opened its doors in April, 2017.
“All of our products are sourced from Africa,” said Ade. “They’re either shipped in by us, or by other African business owners who bring stuff from Africa.”
The store imports grains, vegetables, meats and spices from countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon and the Congos. Yemi travels abroad to import many of the products himself.
“Sometimes people come to the store and they are amazed to find what they last ate when they were back home,” said Ade.
The couple have plans to expand their business to include another location in London in the coming months, and possibly open other locations outside the city.
London is also home to another African food store. Steda Tropical Foods is located at 781 Dundas Street.