Bringing African staples to Carleton County shoppers

by | Apr 1, 2024

Woman opens specialty store in Woodstock with hopes of making area more welcoming for African families

A new store bringing African cooking staples to Carleton County opened with much fanfare on Easter Monday, April 1.

Triple T Emporium, African Market and Braids, which is located at 668B Main Street in downtown Woodstock, is the brainchild of Oluwatoyin Adeniyi, who moved to Woodstock with her family in 2019.

“We would have to travel to Fredericton to get African food, so within me, I said, something has to be done for all the people here, and those that will be coming in. We have to see what we can do to help them and make this place comfortable,” she explained as dozens of people streamed into the new store shortly after it opened at noon.

People stream into the Triple T Emporium, African Market and Braids in downtown Woodstock to help celebrate their grand opening on April 1. (Theresa Blackburn photo)

People mingled and enjoyed mixed music beats compliments of a DJ, and visitors were treated to traditional African cuisine and drinks, including warm meat pies, before a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Adeniyi started working on the store’s concept in 2022. She first got a business number and then imported food and delivered it to people’s homes. The business grew to the point that Adeniyi was confident her customer base could support a storefront, so she started looking for a place to rent.

Family and friends turned out for the grand opening of the Triple T Emporium, African Market and Braids. From left, Adekunke Adeniyi and Eleanor Leonard. (Theresa Blackburn photo)

With the help of her husband, Adekunle Adeniyi (the minister at St. James United Church in Woodstock), and some good friends, she achieved her dream.

Adeniyi believes opening a store focusing on black families who have immigrated and settled in the region offers instant comfort to people far from home.

Proud day: Oluwatoyin Adeniyi (right) with her husband, Adekunle Adeniyi, at the grand opening of the Triple T Emporium, African Market and Braids store in downtown Woodstock on April 1. (Theresa Blackburn photo)

“We want to serve the African community,” she said, gesturing to the diverse group gathered for their grand opening. “We have blacks here, some from Cameroon, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria, so we have different connections of Africans here, so I think this will be the best thing to do to help them all out.”

Adeniyi said she is up to the administrative challenges of running a business. She was a payroll clerk before leaving her job to run her store.

The store will stock traditional African kitchen staples, drinks, and snacks, as well as black hair products. Adeniyi will offer braiding services in a separate room at the back of the store. Triple T Emporium, African Market, and Braids will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Party atmosphere: Jakes Oladunni was doing some beat-mixing while Emmanuel Jessey (centre) and Pamela Black danced during the grand opening of the Triple T Emporium, African Market and Braids store. (Theresa Blackburn photo)

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