The Newcomers’ World Market at Regina’s Westminster United Church showcased the diversity of the city through unique international food and crafts on Saturday.
Typically, about 18 to 20 different countries are represented at the event where vendors who have immigrated to Saskatchewan from around the world can set up for free to sell their goods.
Admission was a donation to the church’s refugee fund.
Plantain chips a hit with customers
It was a successful first day to market for one entrepreneur, bringing an authentic taste of Nigeria to Saskatchewan.
Akinyemi Fadoju, representing Nigeria, is studying to become a telecommunications network technician at Sask Polytechnic in Regina, but his passion is cooking.
For years, he had thought about starting a business and finally did so about two months ago.
On Saturday, he sold his sweet plantain chips publicly for the first time, bringing 18 packages and clearing most of his inventory.
“Sales have been pretty good. They like plantains. It’s sweet and then it’s spicy and salty,” he said.
Fadoju’s chips are seasoned with imported African spices and fried in canola oil.
His company name is called, A’s Plaintain — Fadoju said everybody in his family has a first name that starts with the first letter of the alphabet.
Meanwhile, Abdulnsr Al-Khalaf, his wife and son run their small business, Orange Bloom Syrian Sweets, selling food and treats from their homeland Syria.
They fled the country’s civil war, arriving in Canada about three years ago.
The family mostly fills orders and sells at farmers’ markets.
One day, Al-Khalaf hopes to save up and open a restaurant.
A new market
By day, Aruna Mehta is a daycare worker in Regina.
She also works with a team of women from rural India to produce handmade goods like bags, bed covers, tablecloths, jewellery and candles.
Mehta came to Canada in 2017, she said, for adventure.
“My team wants to come to Canada so we made the decision that we have to explore, get different experiences,” she said.