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Downtown Timmins welcomes opening of African Foods Market

Downtown Timmins laid out the welcome mat to the owner of the first African foods store on Third Avenue Friday.

'The Real African Foods Market' is now open.

The store's owner told CTV News she believes Timmins is a good place for Africans to live and she said one of the things that's been missing is convenient access to African foods and ingredients.

Grace Balogun is a Canadian from Nigeria and has twenty-five years of experience in African products. She has a store in Toronto and now she has opened up a store here as a way of caring for her fellow Africans.

“People have been coming here and say thank you for rescue us," said Balogun.

"There so many students here. After finish their courses they try to leave Timmins. So I want the heart of Timmins to grow so they feel at home when they have their home kosher food. It’s going to be easy for them to call Timmins as home.”

Downtown Timmins officials said they are excited to add to the diversity of the city's core.

“This is wonderful. The more that we can have life Downtown and also the more culture that we have in Timmins," said Jessica Mayer, executive director for Downtown Timmins BIA.

"You couldn’t ask for better."

Balogun said she did some research before opening her store and said she found one of the reasons Africans were leaving town was due to the scarcity of African produce.

She offers a variety of vegetables, fish, spices and more.

"I’m excited," said William Njoku, secretary and treasurer for African Community in Timmins.

"I feel more at home now," he said.

"This can keep a lot of people here in Timmins you know.”

Members of the African community said that is a cause for celebration. After the grand opening ceremony, members of the African Community in Timmins played music outside the store and danced on the sidewalk. Top Stories

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