Southfield (CW50) – Leaving a good-paying job to follow your passion is never easy, but Godwin Ihentuge knew that being a mortgage banker was not what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. When he was 7 years old, Ihentuge found a love of cooking and that passion was maintained through his other careers. He decided to leave his job to follow his passion for cooking and opened up several pop-up restaurants and a food truck, which would eventually evolve into what is known today as YumVillage.

YumVillage converted to a brick and mortar location, which opened its doors in 2019 as an Afro-Caribbean restaurant in Detroit’s New Center. The idea behind opening the restaurant was not just to offer Afro-Caribbean cuisine to Detoiters, but to expose people to the two cultures that surround these foods by providing cooking classes and an environment inspired by the cultures.

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Ihentuge also wanted to help build a community in Detroit and help its residents with employment and advocacy for improving the environment. He is achieving this goal through hiring half of his staff living within a half-mile of the restaurant and by using only natural ingredients and materials in their dinner wares. This helps reduce the overall carbon footprint that the restaurant industry leaves on the environment.

In order to expand his restaurant and help spread the Afro-Caribbean culture, Ihentuge began marketing YumVillage as a “market pantry.” Still serving food, but offering pre-prepared to-go meals, apparel, recipe kits, and bath & body products based off of the spices they use in their food.

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Godwin Ihentuge, Chief Village of YumVillage

Godwin Ihentuge joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to walk her through the steps of making a staple dish in Afro-Caribbean culture, Jollof Rice. He also talks about why it was important for him to open up this kind of restaurant in the City of Detroit.

We live in a time where locally owned restaurants need all of the help they can get, so if you’re looking for pre-made take-out meals, go to YumVillage.com

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