I don't know if you still follow the board and if you caught the post ReneG made a few months ago on Commercial Avenue and the Nigerian chicken and kola nuts to be found at the African market over there. (Link below). Found another African market today on 79th near the lakefront: this one is 6 months old. The owner is Senegalese. The grocery is rather small but he said that business has been so good that he plans to expand to the next storefront soon. He jokingly asked me if I wanted to open a Senegalese restaurant with him.
He told me that there is a rich concentration of West Africans in this general area of Chicago. Every single West African nation, even the "obscurer" (to us) ones like Togo etc, is represented although no one from any of the francophone countries (Togo, Mali, Guinea etc) has taken the big step yet of opening a restaurant in this part of town. He said that there are many ladies who prepare food from home for other immigrants. I got a few names: I think that next year, we could consider putting together a great West African buffet prepared by a few of these ladies, an event like the Keralan buffet we just did.
He carries products (and serves immigrants) from Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, the Gambia. I am copying some of the items listed on his flyer below to capture any website "searchers". Some of the ff are the same thing but called diff names in diff countries and/or are proprietary names (ex: Trofai, I think is a brand of palmnut concentrate):
gueedi, yet, gurete, warga, bougne, karite, yokhoss, pagne, netetoli, palm-oil, jumbo, thiere, gari, fufu, samolina, farina, atiake, fufu flour, yams, bank four, trofal, ghana fresh, zomi, placali, thiakry, sankhal
In addition, he carries halal meat, sells African movie CDs and phone cards for Africa.
This is not too far away from the Commercial Avenue strip, by the way.
This brings the number of African markets known to this board to 5.
2309 E. 79th Street
7 days, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.