Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

Upper Darby Businesses

Busy Bee Learning Tree
Long Lane - Upper Darby, PA

Busy Bees is the name of two early childcare centers owned by Nalijah Homes in Upper Darby, PA. The centers, which have been running for four years, are now a vital part of the community. The centers accept children as young as six weeks old to five years. Even though Busy Bees is an Islamic-based childcare preschool, it serves children from all religious backgrounds.

The children learn to speak English, Arabic and Spanish. The diversity of the children, coupled with the centers’ rich curriculum, makes Busy Bees unique.

Altogether, there are just about 18 students at Busy Bees and about half are from Islamic families.

Taneal Harris, the administrator said her hope for the school is for it to grow. “We just want the children to have a place to learn, grow and have fun,” she added.

Fanta African International Restaurant
57 Garrett Road- Upper Darby, PA

Right at the corner of Fairfield Street and Garrett Road you will find Fanta International African Restaurant. Named after Fanta Sidibe, International was added to represent her biological lineage spanning across several African countries including Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Toga Ghana and her birth country of Liberia. Fanta said she chose to open her restaurant in Upper Darby because she simply found it less of a hassle to start her dream there.

She said while the majority of her customers come from various backgrounds, her most popular dishes are cassava leaves and potato greens.

Pupurseria y Resturant el Cuscatieco
29 Garrett Road - Upper Darby, PA

Just a few doors from Fanta International is a small but popular El Salvadorian restaurant. We spoke with Diana Martinizes, owner of the restaurant, which serves Central American food from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The eatery has operated in Upper Darby since January 2010, attracting diverse patrons.

The most popular dish is pupusas (corn tortillas filled with savory Salvadoran fillings such as beans, cheese and corn). Because of pupusas’ extreme popularity, the food is celebrated on a national holiday on the second Sunday of every November in El Salvador.

Martinizes said although her family business mostly supports itself, it gets some great business advice and tips from the township. They hope to open another location in Philadelphia.

Jump Start Daycare 
45 Long Lane - Upper Darby, PA

Bernetta Jones is one of the staff members at Jump Start Daycare in Upper Darby. Founded in 2012, Jump Start also receives support from the township government. “We have partnered with the township for fire safety training and also local banks for them to come out and open free accounts for employees.”

Is this a day care that offers bank accounts? What type of business is this? Jones said, Jump Start would like to focus on diversity in the future.

She said they have a diverse staff to expose the children to various cultures and nationalities. Jump Start is located right in Long Lane across the street from Five Points Coffee.

Five Points Coffee
47 Long Lane - Upper Darby, PA

Steve Boeman is the owner of Five Points Coffee. Boeman has been in Upper Darby for about seven years, having previously lived in Morocco for 15 years.

He said it was the diversity and the huge immigrant population that brought him to Upper Darby. “When we came here, we felt it was a huge opportunity to serve the immigrant community.

Mayor Micozzie is just super supportive of this business coming into the community. He just really appreciates the fact that there is a place where non-alcoholics can meet.

“The township was also helpful in getting businesses like ours involved in the Upper Darby International Festival last September. It is great for our business and gives us the opportunity to serve the community,” Boeman said.

Our role is to just add value to what’s already happening here. We want to provide a place where people feel welcomed and comfortable; a place where they’re going to be accepted to
meet no matter their background.

Inca Wall Peruvian Restaurant
55 Garrett Rd.  - Upper Darby, PA

Beatrice Loatza is the owner of Inca Wall Peruvian Restaurant. When you walk in, it feels like stepping into a private world. It is on the basement level of the building with plenty of space. In fact, it has so much space that there is even a mini museum featuring traditional native Peruvian clothing. Beatrice also teaches dance and the place is very intriguing and intimate.

Inca Wall’s most popular dishes are chicken and Angus beef. The chicken is no little deal at Inca Wall. It actually takes over 24 hours to cook on top of preparation time the day before. “It goes quickly,” Beatrice hinted proudly. She said, “95 percent of our customers are from the Mainline, Bryn Mawr and Villanova. Even though she was advised not to open her business in Upper Darby,
she said,

“I told them no, because I see something coming; something that is better; a big change is going.” Beatrice also talked about the International Festival (what festival, one in Darby or in El Salvador?) and said business was very good during the festival in Upper Darby.

“This year was good, it was a good year”. Beatrice hopes to open another location near the Mainline in the future.

Irish Immigration Center
7 South Cedar Lane. - Upper Darby, PA

The Irish Immigration Center has been serving the Upper Darby community for 20 years. With a huge Irish community in the area, the center and county are partnering to provide various programs that benefit the community. Emily Anshenhurst, an employee, said some of the programs involved learning about mental health, childcare, the concerns of elderly immigrants as well as working with suicide survival victims; a program modeled after the Solace House which offers brief counseling. The center does not just serve the Irish community. Twice a month, the staff runs an immigration legal clinic.

“Lawyers come in and offer their services pro bono to help any person who is here on an immigrant visa or looking to becoming a citizen”.

The center has helped people from Liberia, Haiti, Pakistan, Mexico, Eastern Europe and many other countries. Through this service, people can renew their passports, become Irish citizens if they’re American or if they are Irish, become an American citizen. The center has become so popular that they are currently looking for a new building near their current location.

809 Garrett Rd. - Upper Darby, PA

ACCO is an acronym for African Caribbean Company, a small grocery market, owned by David L. Davis and started in 2010. David Davis, who was a programmer before starting the business, gave credit to his wife for coming up with the name.

He said, after realizing the lack of stores that serve the growing African and Caribbean community in Upper Darby, he saw it as a perfect opportunity to open one. David spoke highly of the support that businesses receive in Upper Darby.

”I have never seen response so fast in my life,” he said, even if it’s just for setting off the alarm system by accident and getting a police response. David plans to expand his business in the future by selling traditional American food.

The Five Star Shop
207 Long Lane - Upper Darby, PA

The Five Star Shop is a black-owned barber shop opened by Terrance Bolden in 2008. Bolden has been working in Upper Darby for over 20 years and he started as an apprentice under the former owner.

“I want to be a positive businessman in this area where people can come and unload. I am a Christian and a therapist at the same time. People come in and we talk about so much stuff.

One major thing Terrance upholds in his shop is making sure his shop is family-friendly.” Bolden credited a Councilman, Dr. Sekela Coles, for supporting his business.