Joba Foods And Bakery Delivers Agege Bread, Nigerian Specialties To Bucktown

Versie Dortch

BUCKTOWN — A bakery promoting Nigerian bread, meat and rooster pies, cookies and other sweets has opened a general public-experiencing retailer in Bucktown.

Joba Foodstuff & Bakery, 2039 N. Western Ave., is owned and operated by Olugbemisola Olawumi, who has been baking at the Bucktown house for the previous quite a few several years.

At the middle of the business is Olawumi’s fresh new agege bread, which she calls Nigerian-design brioche. The bread is located almost everywhere in her home region, Olawumi explained, but can hard to occur by in Chicago.

“It’s a staple that cuts across socio-economic standing in the place, mainly because each individual table pretty a great deal at some level has agege bread,” she said. “It lends properly to rather a great deal anything at all.”

Olawumi opened the store for retail prospects in December, adding new products and a vary of beverages like Maltina, a malt beverage well known in Nigeria.

The retail store is also a hub for Joba’s wholesale business, which sells to about 10 grocery suppliers in Chicago and a couple additional in the suburbs, Olawumi explained.

Credit score: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Olugbemisola Olawumi poses for a picture at Joba Foods & Bakery in Bucktown

Olawumi has very long cooked for friends and loved ones, but she did not set out to become a baker when moved to Chicago from Nigeria about 20 yrs ago, she said.

That started to improve when a pastor at her church in Rogers Park — exactly where Olawumi also life — advised anyone start out a Nigerian foods company.

Olawumi’s very first products was moin moin, a Nigerian bean casserole, which proved well-liked in her neighborhood, she reported.

“In the Nigerian neighborhood, from church and friends, I claimed, ‘I now have a business,’ so men and women will do get-togethers, and [moin moin] is a fantastic bash staple,” she stated.

She then started off generating meat pies, which she has for sale at the Bucktown retail store, before producing agege bread.

It was not straightforward at initially. Olawumi explained some of her very first attempts ended up in the trash prior to she perfected her recipe.

“I did demo and error in my personal mini lab, in my kitchen and all that, finding the right texture. Calling gurus back again home, I was like, ‘okay, is this meant to seem like this?” she claimed.

Since beginning to bake bread in 2017, demand has grown steadily, Olawumi reported. She’s even had retailers in Wisconsin and Indiana arrive at out to inventory her loaves.

“Joba Foodstuff & Bakery is the only Nigerian bakery that is in Chicago, if not in Illinois, and we are the only agege bread that is on the marketplace. There are agege-model breads, but this is the serious issue,” she explained.

Credit rating: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Joba Food items & Bakery, 2039 N. Western Ave., in Bucktown
Credit history: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Crates of agege bread for wholesale buyers at Joba Foodstuff & Bakery in Bucktown

Olawumi shortly plans additional offerings at Joba Meals, like moin moin and akara, the fried “cousin” of moin moin, she reported.

As she continues to function in Bucktown, Olawumi claimed she wants to each deliver Nigerian staples to her neighborhood in Chicago while also diversifying the neighborhood’s meals scene for individuals unfamiliar with the country’s cuisine.

But there is also a more primary functionality Olawumi sees for her organization: building persons happy.

“Somebody can come in in this article, get a cookie, and that can make their working day. Any person comes in with a smile and you communicate to them and they feel far better,” she explained. “Just building our neighborhood, our metropolis, a greater spot. Just one cookie at a time, 1 pie at a time, a single agege bread at a time.”

Joba Foods & Bakery is open up 10 a.m.- 4p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

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