A shop owner in Southampton is creating a ‘home from home’ for the Nigerian community in the city.

Bukola George, originally from Nigeria, opened Eddoes Direct – an Afro-Caribbean food store – five years ago on Shirley Road.

In that time, Bukola has helped many in the community who have emigrated over 4,000 miles from Nigeria to Southampton.

She told the Echo: “I think people love their own space as it helps them feel relaxed.

“I have many customers who visit my shop and one day on a weeknight a lot of them were coming in with their uniforms and they were NHS staff.

“For many families, one person moves over first and then when they’re able to – the whole family moves over – so there’s a new influx of staff, students, and families.”

She added: “In Nigeria, when you get home after finishing work, you get changed, have a shower, and then you go out again.

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Daily Echo:

“I hope that we can be a bit of a hub here for people to come along, and then head to a café or restaurant as there’s many different businesses along the high street.”

A long-time entrepreneur, Bukola has also owned hair salon – Harmony Hair – for half a decade, originally upstairs above Eddoes before relocating to a new premises on the same road.

“The Nigerian community is a big part of our demographic”, she said.

Bukola continued: “People really look up to the UK and if they’re able to come over and afford the fees, then many make the move.

“It’s not as straight forward as finding an outlet like you would back home, so we hope to be that place.

“We’re the place where we can be a home from home for people, laugh at people’s jokes and bring some familiar home comforts.”

Bukola added: “We’re not exclusive, we’re available to everyone and so many people have been supportive – but as someone that’s emigrated from another country, I know there’s a value having certain home comforts that might be difficult to find elsewhere.”