For Springfield, Missouri, residents with African heritage, Jums African Market is a taste of home. “The joy in the faces of our customers whenever they come across products that they haven’t seen in years is my favorite part,” says Fola Sodade, who owns the grocery store with his wife, Jummy.
For other customers, Jums provides a welcoming window into traditional African cuisine. Here, you can purchase rare items, including goat’s meat, fufu flour and egusi (melon seeds). The Sodades both grew up in Lagos – which Fola refers to as the cultural and economic nerve center of Nigeria – and the products on offer at Jums reflect their West African backgrounds, but over time, their inventory has expanded to include staples of East Africa, Jamaica and the Caribbean as well.
Try some of the ingredients in action at Désire, the couple’s neighboring food truck, which serves dishes such as plantains with chicken sauce and African noodles with eggs.
Jums African Market, 1410 E. Kerney St., Suite G, Springfield, Missouri, 417.450.8011, jumsmarket.com