Adunni said she has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. In fact, the husband-and-wife duo met when Benjamin walked into the restaurant Adunni owned with her sister in Nigeria.
Now, drawing on her family’s recipes, Adunni prepares all of the traditional Nigerian food served at Feydups Kitchen, which opened in Sugar Land in November 2019—just before the coronavirus pandemic began to close restaurants across the state. The hurdles do not phase Adunni.
“I believe we are going to be successful here, too,” Adunni said, adding the restaurant they owned in Nigeria had great success.
The restaurant’s name is a combination of two names, that of Adunni’s sister, Dupe, and her nephew, Feyi. Adunni and Benjamin said Dupe is the inspiration for Feydups Kitchen.
“[Dupe is the] unquantifiable inspiration. You cannot quantify it because without God and without her ...,” Benjamin said, trailing off. “She was instrumental.”
Adunni said they looked at several places in the Greater Houston area to open the restaurant but settled on the Eldridge Road shopping center because they found it to be peaceful.
“This place was peaceful, serene, orderly,” Benjamin said. “We said, ‘This must be the place.’”
However, Adunni said the Realtor helping them did not believe a Nigerian restaurant could thrive in the area. Plus, the restaurant occupying the space before them was only open for about six months, Benjamin said.
“I said, ‘I will try.’ I am trusting that if others did not make it; I am going to make it here,” Adunni said. “We don’t have any regrets at all.”
Despite the Realtor’s warning, Adunni said the restaurant has been embraced by the community, including people who are not familiar with African cuisine. Benjamin said many of their patrons are drawn to Feydups Kitchen by their desire to try Nigerian food for the first time.
“We love challenges. We are going to hold the bull by the horn, and thanks to God almighty, 2019, 2020, 2021, we are still on,” Benjamin said.
Still, the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on the restaurant, but business is beginning to pick up again, they said.
The couple said their faith in God has helped them keep the restaurant’s doors open.
“We don’t have any regrets. We have peace. You can’t buy peace,” Adunni said.