Africa to Airdrie: African Markets brightening Airdrie’s cultural landscape

Story by Josie Randall


Photos by Sergei Belski

As Airdrie continues to grow, a variety of new businesses from other cultures are starting to pop up around the city.

Among some of the new additions to the local business landscape are three African markets that are not only contributing to the city’s cultural richness, but also fostering connection between communities.

Adorad African Market & Beauty Store

Adeshina Busari is the driving force behind Adorad African Market & Beauty Store. Located in the heart of Airdrie, this store offers a variety of African food and beauty supplies.

Originally from Nigeria, Busari says he always had an entrepreneurial mindset and had started several businesses when he moved to Canada in 2013. It was joining a WhatsApp group for Black Airdronians that led to taking over an already existing African store and making it his own.

“Airdrie is expanding so fast,” says Busari. “So, I wanted to redefine this business as a space not just for Africans, but for everyone. I saw Airdrie as a place where we could grow with the community and make more of an impact.”

Sage Meadows Market African Store

Sage Meadows Market is a multi-ethnic grocery store for those looking for a certain type of food and produce not regularly found in traditional stores.

Founder Queen Achibiri was born in Nigeria and moved to Calgary in 2015. She poured her love for entrepreneurship and her home country into her store after seeing other cultures doing the same thing.

“I am a nurse by profession, but I always wanted to have my own business. So, one day when I went to Chinatown and saw all the local markets and stores, it moved me,” says Achibiri.

“I felt it was God’s way of telling me to open my own store. So, I learned everything myself on how to run a business and here I am today.”

De-Chosen African Market

Regina Oluwadairo has been running De-Chosen African Market since 2000. It started in the basement of her home and has since grown to three stores located in Calgary and Airdrie selling African groceries and retail products.

Originally from Nigeria, Oluwadairo moved to the United Kingdom and then Saskatchewan before settling in Calgary. Opening De-Chosen was an opportunity for her to support fellow newcomers in more ways than one.

“When people relocate, the first thing they need to find is food. I know that better than anyone,” says Oluwadairo. “So we are here to help and show them the way. We are a familiar face.

“We are not just a food business, but a support system.”

Attracting a variety of new business from other cultures is just part of a growing city.

Airdrie just so happens to be one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. Young people are attracted to the affordable homes, family-driven lifestyle and proximity to Calgary. That growth is going to bring people from all sorts of different cultures, says Jessica Williamson, economic development officer with the City of Airdrie.

“We are adding new businesses everyday who hire our highly skilled, well-educated and diverse workforce and take advantage of our growing consumer population,” Williamson says.

“Airdrie has all the urban amenities you need and the small-town charm you want. With low housing prices and a high quality of life, Airdrie is one of Canada’s most livable and affordable cities.”

Businesses like Adorad African Market & Beauty Store, Sage Meadows Market African Store, and De-Chosen African Market are not only providing unique and culturally enriching products, but also fostering a sense of community and curiosity about the world.

“We live in a city that thrives on the warmth and generosity of its people; having our markets open here just shows a part of Airdrie’s growing story,” says Busari. “These stores aren’t just for Black people, but they are for anyone. We welcome anyone and want to share our culture with you.

“Come have a taste of the world’s riches, right here in your own backyard.”