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5 Successful Black Immigrant-Owned Businesses in the Philadelphia Region

May 19, 2024 10:00AM ● By Uju Nwagu

Philadelphia is home to a thriving community of Black immigrants, many hailing from Africa, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. This diverse group has significantly contributed to the city's culture, economy, and society. Despite challenges, Black immigrants have succeeded in various fields, including business, healthcare, and education. Here's a look at five Black immigrant-owned businesses in Philadelphia, each making significant contributions to Philadelphia's vibrant community.

Ikire Jones

Ikiré Jones is a clothing and design brand established in Philadelphia that specialises in statement menswear with West African inspiration. Invented by Nigerian-born musician/attorney Walé Oyéjidé in collaboration with tailor Sam Hubler, Ikiré Jones is a fascinating partnership that combines fashion with fervent narrative. Their S/S 2017 collection, "Born Between Borders," underlines the sacrifices African immigrants made for their children and is told through beautifully designed suit jackets and pants.

Walé Oyéjidé, Esq. is also a director, designer, writer, and filmmaker. His apparel design can be seen in the films "Black Panther" and "Coming 2 America".


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Suya Suya West African Grill

Founded in 2021, Suya Suya is a favourite spot in Philly that specialises in one of the most famous street cuisines in West Africa. The Nigerian dish "suya" is roasted meat on a skewer served with spices that give it a distinct aroma and taste. Owner Dera Nd-Ezuma was raised in Abuja, Nigeria, but came to South Jersey as a teenager to play basketball on scholarship. He went on to become an accountant, but his heart has always wanted to run Suya Suya - a place to replant his Nigerian roots and capture the scenes of Abuja's streets.

His customised suya is typically served in bowls with different combinations of rice, proteins, sauce, heat level, and sides. Nd-Ezuma sources all of his spices straight from Nigeria, channelling the street-food atmosphere and the flavour of suya from his childhood.

Address: 400 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123

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D'IYANU (dee-ya-nu) is an African-inspired fashion brand founded by Nigerian-born Addie Ajayi, based in Norristown, PA. Seeing the need in the market for a contemporary African-inspired clothing line and with her love for fashion, Addie Ajayi launched the D'IYANU brand at the beginning of 2014. Addie Ajayi (CEO) and her brother Dara Ajayi (President) have since then been creating stylish, fun, and fashionable apparel intending to encourage people to dress boldly and elegantly.


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Food Geez Restaurant

Liberian natives Rose-Joy and John Greaves are the co-owners of Food Geez Restaurant, located in Northeast Philly. Food Geez was founded in 2020, and it specialises in West African, vegan, and seafood dishes. It also serves traditional American dishes.

Their menu consists of dishes like non-spicy cassava leaf, non-spicy potato greens, red snapper fish, pepper steak and rice, pounded yam and egusi soup, chicken alfredo, and chicken and waffles. Many of their ingredients are sourced from the motherland.

Address: 6326 Sackett St, Philadelphia, PA 19149

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Careda's Caribbean Cuisine

Jamaican native Careda Matthews is the owner of Careda's Caribbean Cuisine, the first Caribbean restaurant in the Reading Terminal Market, which has been in operation for over 150 years. Founded in 2019, Careda's Caribbean Cuisine has been serving authentic Jamaican dishes to Philadelphians with its top sellers: Jerk chicken, Jerk pork, and Jerk turkey meatballs. Careda Matthews also founded Yo Mama's Kitchen, a Caribbean restaurant located at 1459 N 52nd Street, in addition to Careda's Caribbean Cuisine.


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 Uju Nwagu is a social media manager and content creator at FunTimes Magazine. She is also in charge of creating comics along with producing videos and other materials used for content marketing. Uju currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ibadan. Her passion is music. She is a faithful chorister, belonging to a few choral groups (her alumni group inclusive).You can connect with her on Instagram @juby_lindas.

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