07 Sep 2021
When Bintimani opens its doors in early 2022, the West African restaurant on Westminster Street in downtown Providence will be serving more than mouth-watering cassava leaves, plantain salad and puff puff.
The restaurant will also provide a shared space for other chefs to offer their cuisines and build their businesses. Bintimani will serve BIPOC entrepreneurs, creatives, and community-oriented artists, vendors, individuals and groups by providing space, facilities, guidance and support to those needing a launching pad.
A community-built, community-centered business owned and operated by the Josiah-Faeduwor Family, Bintimani served the predominantly African American community in Boston’s Nubian Square for nearly a dozen years before being evicted by a developer who plans to transform the space into luxury condominiums.
With roots and deep connections in Providence, the Josiah-Faeduwor family headed to Rhode Island’s capital and the planning to re-open Bintimani began.
Sharing West African culture and helping the community is the goal.
Successful and Community Centered
“You can build a business that is profitable and successful but is also community centered. We want to present the West African culture that is so present here in Providence, provide food and a necessary piece of home for people who connect to this culture while supporting entrepreneurial people of color who need a launching pad to fulfil their own dreams and hopes like we were able to,” said Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor.
A graduate of Brown University who earned a master’s degree in city planning/MBA dual degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Josiah-Faeduwor has been involved in several organizations and served on many boards in Rhode Island. The founding board member and first executive director of Millennial Rhode Island, he plans to use his experience and expertise to help BIPOC entrepreneurs build their businesses.
“We want to offer our space, but we want to offer our expertise and our network and our connections and our capacity…to these vendors we are working with so we can help them get established and get started,” said Josiah-Faeduwor. “Building a business is a tremendous amount of work and so many aspects, like licenses and permits that are difficult to navigate, I want to use my experience to make it easier for others.”
With its unique mentoring and space-sharing arrangement, combined with support from the Papitto Opportunity Connection, Bintimani restaurant expects to uplift at least 100 BIPOC entrepreneurs, artists, vendors, and small businesses.
“POC funding makes the statement that communities like ours, communities like the ones we serve, are worth it — that we are worth investing in, uplifting, and being trusted and supported to uplift our community,” said Josiah-Faeduwor.