Local mother and entrepreneur Christiana Bonnah is the owner of Jaydee’s Market in Bradford who opened her store in the downtown core in January of 2020 right before the pandemic began.
Jaydee’s Market features a wide variety of African-Caribbean foods, beauty supplies, and even a salon and barbershop. The name stems from a combination of owner Bonnah’s children’s names.
Bonnah is originally from Ghana, which is where she imports much of her supplies and products for her store.
She moved to Canada with her family when she was 13 years old and grew up in the Toronto area where she met her husband.
The couple has been married for 20 years and has four children together.
Bonnah originally opened her store in Toronto where the family helped run the market for 10 years.
Six years ago, the family relocated to the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
When the timing was right, Bonnah relocated her store closer to home and opened the market in mid-January of 2020 in the plaza located at 54 Holland St. West.
“I always wanted to be self-employed so when we got the chance to do so, I took it!” exclaims Bonnah. “We carry everything you’ll find in Africa that you won’t find in a grocery store.”
Bonnah shares the store holds a unique selection of goods that customers won’t typically find in the area, including a special flour commonly used for baking in Africa.
The store is also well known for its assortment of colourful wigs and hair extensions.
“Wigs and hair products are the most popular,” says Bonnah. She acquires many products from whole sellers direct from Nigeria. “I’m the only one here that carries some of these products here in Bradford.”
Bonnah became a certified hairstylist after she opened the store in Toronto, and her husband provides the barber services in the salon on a part-time basis.
The salon is situated at the back corner of the store in a large, separate room, equipped with a washing station and lounge.
Before opening her own business, Bonnah was a medical administrator for five years.
“It’s hard work but it’s worth it – you make your own hours, it’s always a plus,” she says about entrepreneurship.
Jaydee’s Market caters to an array of clients from Bradford and surrounding areas such as Newmarket, Innisfil, Barrie, East Gwillimbury, and Beeton.
“When I came here (Bradford), I noticed nothing like this here,” she says. “People are happy we are here and they don’t have to travel into the city anymore.”
In addition to food and hair products, she also sells makeup, jewellery, and accessories like hats, sunglasses, and bags.
To check out more of what Jaydee’s Market has to offer, visit her Facebook page here.