As immigrants from Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria find a home in places like Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, a small local company is finding business in providing foods familiar to the West African community.
Brooklyn Park-based Global African Foods, Inc. opened three years ago as an African food wholesaler, providing mainly West African foods to small ethnic food stores in the metro. This month, the small company also started providing about a dozen of its products to 16 area Cub Foods stores, including locations in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.
"This is big. It's very, very difficult to get anything into Cub Foods," said James Sanigular, company president of Global African Foods.
Ken Roberg, grocery manager at Cub Foods in Brooklyn Park said he's already had to reorder a few food items since the store first started offering products like palmnut soup, fufu, corn meal, and African seasonings earlier this month.
"It is selling," said Roberg. "I want to keep the customers in our store, so if we can provide what they're looking for, they're going to shop here."
For more than a decade, the African population has grown in the metro-area, particularly in the northwest metro, where many West African immigrants have joined other immigrant families who have settled into Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.
Sanigular, originally from Liberia himself, knew there was a need for more African foods beyond the ones offered at smaller ethnic food stores which often have limited hours.
"They have no where else to get their food, so if you have it in Cub and these stores, you can always go there 24/7," said Sanigular.
Global African Foods, Inc. currently distributes its food to 26 stores in the metro area, including 16 Cub Foods stores.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
Monday, October 29, 2012