Kenyan farmer in UK opens a new Maize shop in West Midlands
David Mwanaka, the first arable black farmer in the UK is opening a 12 000 square feet supermarket in, Walsall, West Midlands on the 1st of December. The new supermarket is a two floor building at number 19-20 Vicarage Place, WS1 3NA. Unlike the London shop, the Walsall branch with have a butchery, groceries department, hair salon, hair products department, recruitment agency and a restaurant.
Mwanaka started farming maize in the UK more than fifteen years ago. He was at first discouraged by UK agronomists who advised him not to grow white maize because they believed white maize could not grow to maturity in the cold UK climate. Having not taken the advice of agronomists, he started growing just about twenty acres. Now having proved the agronomists wrong he farms more than 150 acres.”
Though the fresh maize season is over Mwanaka said he freezes a lot of his maize in summer so he can continue selling throughout winter. “We also have the usual products like sweet potatoes, fresh groundnuts, pumpkins and in addition we are going to stock a lot of food from East Africa.”
Besides being the first farmer to grow white maize in the UK, Mwanaka was also the first farmer in the country to grow white sweetcorn that he sold to large supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Harrods. Having started farming in Enfield, North London Mwanaka then opened the first shop about ten years ago. After the West Midlands branch he hopes to open more across the country.
According to Mwanaka the Walsall supermarket will have many departments. The hair dressing salon is being run by Mrs Hazel Sango who owns Tete Hazel Hair and Beauty Parlour. They have moved from their Colchester site to team up with us at the West Midlands store. Tete Hazel is well known for being a top stylist in the hairdressing industry.
“We will also have groceries from different African countries and will continue with our theme of selling beef on the bone and other meat products in our butchery. On the other hand our restaurant will specialise in Afro-Caribbean food with a twist. It’s going to be with a twist because we are not going to be limited by the term “Afro-Caribbean”. What we want is good food and that’s what we will serve. I hope the restaurant is the beginning of a chain of restaurants under the name, “Jamrocker”.
Our recruitment agency, B and D M Care Services Ltd has already started recruiting nurses and healthcare staff. We are also looking at recruiting teachers from abroad.
“The fashion Boutique will be run by non-other than Pastor Cecilia Dewu who owns fashions boutiques in London, notably Finsbury Park. Her Cerrura Fashions is famous for selling among other things, exclusive quality occasion wear. Her boutique is also a one stop wedding shop.
“What is unique with our shop is that it is probably the first black owned supermarket in the UK to have so many departments. We are also open to anyone who has a good business idea and is looking for a space to run from,” said Mwanaka. – For more information please contact David on 07859813238.