A new Afro-Caribbean food shop, Busketi B Afro Caribbean Superstore, opened in Eccles Shopping Centre during the lockdown.
Bisi Apata, 44, shop owner and businesswoman, has lived in Eccles for the last five years. She is Nigerian, raised in Italy, and intends to reflect the diversity of the places she lived in her store.
She said: “The shop is for everybody. We sell African, Caribbean, Italian and English products”.
Bisi was already a wholesaler of Afro Caribbean foods and groceries and opening a small business in this niche was needed in Eccles.
As you arrive at the Busketi B Afro Caribbean Superstore there is a sense of newness after all the shop isn’t even a week old. The shelves are still being field but you can already find yams, beans, dried fish, cassava flour, plantain chips, afro hair products, spices and more.
Regarding the challenges of opening a business during a pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis she said: “People will still need to eat. We don’t know when it’s [pandemic] going to finish but we’re not going to live like this for the rest of our lives.
“We need to move on. The lockdown won’t stop us.”
She has revealed that this December she will open a takeaway service connected to the shop. It will be an evening service offering dishes such as African style grilled fish, Caribbean goat curry, and West African fufu.
Bisi expects that her stop will be a place where the community can socialise.
She said: “I want people to feel comfortable and relaxed with us”
Bisi seems optimistic towards the shop’s future and said: “We are a new business in the area.
“We have to give them [residents] time, we’re giving them leaflets. We’ll just have to exercise patience with people.
“I believe in time everything will be alright, you know?”
Busketi B Afro-Caribbean Superstore is now open Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 12pm – 6pm in Eccles Shopping Centre.