Food and market build community
Loan helped immigrant family buy an expanded market space downtown
When Beatrice and Emmanuel Adekoya’s Mercy of God African Market opened in May at its new location on Elm Street, they became two of the few business people of color to own a building on the city’s downtown commercial strip.
Financing from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and Cambridge Trust enabled the family, who immigrated from Nigeria, to move their 15-year-old business from a smaller, rented, location. In doing so, they also built equity and began a transition plan for their adult children who also work in the store.
The Mercy of God market added imported specialty items, as well as fresh and frozen meals and ﬁsh, to its shelves of African and ethnic foods.
A corner of the market offers African clothing, decorations, and musical instruments. In another, the family plans to open a café with a few tables and offer takeout dishes.
Our loan to the Adekoyas was the ﬁrst under the Minority-Owned Business Lending initiative we launched last year. Its goal is more-equitable and -inclusive loan ﬁnancing and business coaching to help entrepreneurs of color thrive.
This article was published in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s 2022 annual report.