6024-A The Plaza
Owners: Chef Dola Way and Leonard Wey
As a big southern city, Charlotte has a large African-American population. Motherland Cuisine & Market brings to our local community the touch and memories of African dining with their unique environment. Motherland has been in operation since 2008, offering authentic fresh delicious dishes in the restaurant and featuring an adjoining market where you can shop for different spices and African groceries.
“By God’s grace, business is picking up and people are referring others. They Google us on the net, and because Charlotte is growing, we’re growing as well.”
Motherland is a family business, and the Weys are native Nigerian. After living in Los Angeles and then Greensboro, they moved to Charlotte in 2004. Leonard had an investment business in L.A. called Motherland. When they started to build their lives here, they decided to enter the restaurant industry.
“As a young lady growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, I loved to cook and help others. During the summer, we had various activities, with my big brother being the manager of our neighborhood soccer team and I being in charge of their feeding and welfare. This grew into a hobby and passion,“ says Adedola.
Now she is cooking for even more people, as their restaurant serves lunch and dinner six days a week. Among the popular items are Jollof Rice, Moin Moin (blended, spicy black-eyed peas), Plantains, Meat Pie, and Puff Puff (sweet bread, often referred to as African Doughnut). Also, they serve Chin Chin which are mini fried crackers, such a favorite among patrons that they prepackage and sell them as snacks.
In the market, the setup resembles a small corner store that you would find in cities that have a large African population like New York. The shelves are filled with spices and raw ingredients such as jerk seasoning, curry powder, eggplant, palm nut sauce, African yam, and Ukazi leaves.
“We serve people from all over: those passing by, Charlotteans from different nations, Africans, Americans, Latinos, and people that just love fresh, tasty food. Our clients enjoy the uniqueness of our service because we have taken African food to another level,” Adedola explains, “where you can relax with your loved ones, as well as your business partners.”
– Profile provided by Motherland