Nhyira means “blessing,” and Francis Okyere and Linda Dadzie-Okyere, the husband-and-wife team who owns Nhyira International Market, both hope their recently opened food store will become a benefit for the Greenwood community. The market specializes in African and Caribbean grocery items, but also offers goods from other countries and cultures. In an effort to offer excellent customer service, they will track down hard-to-find, specific items a patron is looking for.
Francis and Linda are from the Republic of Ghana but didn’t meet until they were students at Indiana State University. They were introduced by a mutual friend from the African Student Union. Both had always planned to come to the United States to attend college and join family already settled here.
“I remember my dad asking me what I wanted to do,” Linda says. “I told him I wanted to take care of people and be either a caterer or a nurse. I ended up being a nurse from 2003 to April of 2021. Since I have five children and my mother has health issues, I am now needed at home. I have always liked to cook for people. I cooked for people when they were sick and people ordered food from me. I wanted to turn my hobby into a business.”
For a while the market conducted business exclusively online. It became evident that a brick-and-mortar site was needed. When customers come into the market looking for ingredients for jollof, a rice dish from West Africa, they can find the specific rice and goat meat needed. Since parts of Africa were colonized by Great Britain, items from England such as digestive biscuits are available. Caribbean spices and plantain chips, both sweet and savory, are also offered.
“It took a while, close to a year, to find this site,” Linda says. “We wanted it to be around the mall. We had been praying about it when I drove past the sign. It was my birthday and I called and left a message. I got a call back within an hour and we saw the place the next day. It was already set up the way we wanted. Before we knew it we were signing the lease.”
At the present time Linda continues to cook for people who know her. Once the market takes off, she hopes to be able to serve food. She also hopes to create a recipe book filled with Caribbean and African dishes.
“We appreciate all the support so far and feel the community has embraced us,” Francis says. “This is our home and life. Our kids go to school here. We are here to support the community and in turn we need their support. We are looking forward to growing, being a staple in the Greenwood and Center Grove community, and contributing to the melting pot and international experience.”
Nhyira International Market is located at 1001 North State Road 135, Suite B7 in Greenwood. For more info, call 317-743-8138 or visit nhyiramarket.com.
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