Since her childhood, Vivian Ngwodo, a Nigerian-born U.K. banker, has always been a problem solver and a food enthusiast, and it is this desire to enjoy good food that pushed her to ditch a lucrative career in banking to develop Chopstreets, the first-ever Afro-Caribbean food app.
Chopstreets is a one-of-a-kind social app and the first of its kind in the U.K., because it is dedicated to helping diners find the best Afro-Caribbean food in the U.K.
The app curates the best African and Caribbean restaurants, supper clubs, takeaways, and pop-ups across the U.K., allowing users to eat their way around the African continent as well as taste the delicacies of the Caribbean.
In an interview with Face2Face Africa, Ngwondo says the app, which was launched on January 30th, is receiving a great response, with its usage projected to grow dramatically in the coming weeks.
“I’ve gotten some good feedback with food businesses in the North wanting to be listed on the app,” says Ngwondo.
Why An Afro-Caribbean Food App?
The idea to develop Chopstreets was born out of Ngwondo’s desire to enjoy authentic African foods in the U.K.
When she moved to London in 2012 to work as a banker, Ngwondo had trouble finding her beloved Nigerian food, and even though she soon adapted to British and Asian foods, she often craved African food and wanted to introduce her news friends to it too.
She was also surprised at the poor visibility and recognition of African and Caribbean foods in London, sparking her desire to start a restaurant blog and a super directory where she reviewed and listed African and Caribbean food joints within the city in 2014.
From the positive response her blog and directory received, Ngwondo decided to develop a web application that would make it easier for diners to locate and review Afro-Caribbean restaurants in the U.K.
And according to Ngwondo, the app is for everyone, “The app is not just for people of African and the Caribbean descent, but for anyone who loves good, exotic food.”
The Future of Chopstreets
As the popularity of African and Caribbean foods continue to grow in the U.K., Ngwondo hopes to take full advantage of this to commercialize Chopstreets.
She also hopes the app will grow and expand beyond the U.K. as a social community for discovering, exploring, and sharing the diverse African and Caribbean foods around the world.
“Our plan for Chopstreets is that it evolves into a robust food platform with online ordering payment and delivery food system for African and Caribbean foods,” she says.
“We plan to expand into a fully digital and tech-driven company, providing information solutions, analytics, and process automation for food businesses in the U.K.”
Ngwondo has created an African and Caribbean dining club, which she hopes will create a dynamic experience around food by bringing together the best African and Caribbean chefs in the U.K., and wishes to partner with interested brands and influencers who identify with the dreams of Chopstreets for Afro-Caribbean food in the U.K.
Chopstreets is now available on Google Play and App Store for download and runs on both Android and iOS devices. Ngwondo says food restaurants can also now list their businesses through the company’s website, Chopstreets.com, for free.