Olatee Thanni-Wright and Temitayo Thanni-Wright, husband and wife, launched Olatee African Cafe on Nov. 19, 2022, to showcase African history and introduce African cuisine to the Spring area.

The restaurant was a result of their grocery store Olatee African Mart’s expansion as well as Temitayo Thanni-Wright's passion for cooking.

“It's been our longtime dream, and so we got this space for it after the Chinese restaurant closed down,” Olatee Thanni-Wright said.

How it happened

In 2020, the couple acquired the grocery store Olatee African Mart with a grocery store selection in the front and a to-go restaurant in the back.

Due to customers' demand for their African cuisine, the couple decided to expand their business, separating the grocery store and restaurant with a new space located within the same shopping center.

The new space offers African cuisine in a sit-down restaurant where customers can place their orders at the counter filled with its daily prepped menu items. The restaurant also offers a unique space with art on the walls representing African history and a lounge area where guests can enjoy a full bar and Nigerian beers.

The details

Olatee African Cafe provides authentic African cuisine with recipes developed by the couple. Although their recipes are not passed down through generations, the couple believes in developing their own recipes by following their intuition and African style of cooking.

The restaurant's African spices are imported directly from Nigeria, Olatee Thanni-Wright said. Its menu items include a wide variety of African dishes, including jollof rice made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, chilies, onions, spices and vegetables as well as fried rice, fried plantain and egusi soup. Egusi soup includes ground melon seed, cow skin, beef meat, beef offals and crayfish.

Customers also have the option to sample the restaurant's menu items before ordering, Olatee Thanni-Wright said.

Aside from Olatee African Cafe’s dine-in option, the restaurant offers catering for outside events, including large parties such as weddings. Olatee Thanni-Wright said they are used to catering for parties of 450 to 600 people.

“We offer authentic food, we cook from the heart, and we are passionate about what we do,” Olatee Thanni-Wright said.