Eddie Ameh is a Ghanaian entrepreneur in the Canadian retail food business. Until recently, he was relatively unknown with steady customers. However, he recently shot to fame through the sale of yam, a popular African tuber.
He now calls himself the “The Yam Seller” adding that the name is his “claim to fame.” Narrating how the sale of yams became a game changer for him, Ameh told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that he was going to Toronto to get some yams and he decided to reach out to the Ghanaian community. The feedback he got was pleasantly surprising, he said.
According to him, he went from picking up “three boxes of yams, to being with a 3,600-sq.-ft. Store.” He subsequently opened the Yam Seller Africa Superstore located off Victoria Street N. in Kitchener, in 2021. Previously, the store was a hair design school.
The store sells African and Caribbean foods such as halal meats and specially-prepared goat meat, smoked fish like barracuda and pepper soup spice seasoning which is a blend of ginger, thyme and rosemary. What is more, he sells ripe plantain, which is also a favorite delicacy in many West African homes.
Most of Ameh’s customers are Nigerians although he is Ghanaian. And because he has built a solid rapport with them, he even assisted them in their independence day celebration.
“It was a way of appreciating these customers,” Ameh said. “It’s not just taking their money at the store. It’s also giving back a little bit of what they have given me. It’s a reason to celebrate with them.”
Aside from helping his Nigerian customers celebrate their independence day, participating in the event also had underlying educational significance. According to him, many of the African kids born in Canada do not know much about the food eaten in Africa.
“Displaying some traditional food, dances and music afforded this younger generation an opportunity to experience Nigerian culture,” he noted.