East African cuisine has come to Detroit, and you have to try it!
Warm, hearty spices, lots of colorful fresh vegetables and tender, slow-cooked meat are the foods Nadia Nijimbere and her husband Mamba Hamissi grew up with.
“The taste comes from the vegetables and from slow cooking,” explains Nijimbere. “In order to give something delicious, we put love into it. You put patience into it. “
Both Nijimbere and Hamissi are originally from Burundi, a small country in East Africa. The happy couple are now the proud owners of Baobab Fare in Detroit’s New Center, but it has been a difficult journey to get there. Both came to the USA as refugees seeking asylum.
Nijimbere first came to America in 2013 and found her way to Freedom House in Detroit. The shelter is unique in that it offers legal advice, health care and many other services for free under one roof. However, only a short time after arriving in America, Nijimbere discovered that she was pregnant with twins. It was another two years before Hamissi could come to America and join his family.
Not having many job opportunities, they decided to open a restaurant serving food from their homeland. They started with pop-ups and entered the Hatch Detroit competition in 2017, which they won.
In early 2021, they opened the doors to the baobab tariff.
“A baobab tree grows in the desert without water,” says Hamissi. “We’ll grow like baobab trees in Detroit.”
The restaurant combines Africa and Detroit in a wonderful way with colorful, bright chairs and patterns on the wall with an industrial chic.
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