A Nigerian market that’s filling customers’ appetite

The New World African & Caribbean Market in Miami Gardens brings a different side of culture that your taste buds can’t resist. 

Every time Emeka Momodu, 37, an Amazon employee, walks into the shop, he feels right at home. 

“I love the feeling of coming here, It’s like I’m home,” Momodu said. 

Martina Osaghae, 55, store owner, came to the United States from Nigeria about 10 years ago. She witnessed people from her country struggle to find organic Nigerian foods and wanted to make a change, so she started her market. 

“Having lived in South Florida for a number of years…I wanted to create a place where people from my country can stop by and purchase all their favorite foods from back home,” Osaghae said. “So I decided to come up with this market.”

This store sells Nigerian foods such as jollof rice, a spicy yellow grain; egusi soup, which is made of beef; fufu, a spongy dough flour; and pounded yam, a boiled sweet potato. Prices range from $5 to $30. 

Osaghae believes her store is different from other markets in South Florida because ingredients used in Nigeria and Caribbean countries can be found in there. 

The New World African and Caribbean Market have countless foods. The store opened in February of  2019  (Photo courtesy of Jason Oboh.)  

“This store is well-organized, and we have ingredient from back home in all of our foods,” she said. 

The item that sells out the most is her box recipe of pounded yam. 

Pounded yam is traditional Nigerian food prepared in boiling water until it becomes soft and doughy. Most Nigerian people eat soft yam by dipping it in vegetable soup. 

“Our pounded yam is now universal, so many people buy our stuff, and it became our number one seller,” Osaghae said. 

Pounded yam is a staple food for Nigerian customers in South Florida. (Photo courtesy of Jason Oboh.) 

Outside of work, Osaghae loves to travel with her family and eat African food. 

People from different cultures stop by the store. 

“Even Spanish people and other cultures have bought some stuff here in this store,” she said. 

Her goal in the next five years is to sell online and have food delivery. 

Osaghae’s passion is to bring happiness to customers eating quality African and Caribbean foods. 

“What makes me happy is people from Nigeria are thankful because they can eat food from back home here in the states,” Osaghae said. 

Jason Oboh is a Florida International University student in his senior year pursuing a bachelor’s degree in digital journalism. He enjoys listening to music and watching sports. After graduation, he plans to work in the sports and music media.