For a mother and son duo, their relationship as restaurateurs makes the restaurant business look quite easy in theory but to the contrary in reality. To achieve success as a team, this duo have had to overcome terrific challenges but their passion for the business of nourishing others with a taste of Africa makes it all worth while, they say.
Claudius Onimole is the general manager of the Kingsway cafe in Laurel Maryland, the son of “Ms. Onimole” as she is popularly called— both of them manage the successful restaurant as a core team. The glory for them beyond all the odds is that they are Africa’s triumphant and their story will always inspire many others who are in similar shoes.
Kingsway Cafe restaurant is successful today, one that has been brewing since fifteen years ago when Ms. Onimole lost her job and had to persevere. Instead of playing victim or feeling sorry, she got creative with baking and started selling “Meat Pies.”
She sold Meat Pies to friends and family from her home kitchen consistently. The home business grew massively to the point where they had to open their first location around the early 2000’s. Claudius says they expanded so fast—adding more pastries like fish rolls, scotch eggs and other variety of finger foods (small chops) which aided their move. In restaurant business , Claudius says that learning how to deal with the public professionally and building loyal customers is a main element for a business to be successful. After couple of years, they relocated to this Laurel location at 13919 Baltimore Ave Laurel, Maryland which feels more like home to them.
You can’t have Triumph without a Trial and this mother and son duo has had trials but they seem to come out on top no matter what! Claudius described the early days of the business, how his sister and him would help their mother after school with the baking of the pastries. He soon left home to join the Military and attend college but still came back after graduating, to be of support to the family business. The early days were hard he described but says that the strong bond they have as a family unit saw them through. One of the unfortunate trials was loosing his sister and Ms Onimole loosing her daughter Funmi in 2015 at the restaurant. With no form of ailment she collapsed and lost her life. The family grieves but Claudius interprets the loss as the gaining of a new guardian angel who has brought a type of closeness and bond to their family. He describes that they are a Faith based family and they believe that Funmi’s spirit lives on and has brought many blessings to them at the restaurant.
Loyal Customers is what the Kingsway Cafe brags about the most. Claudius says they have repeated customers that walk through those doors and have stayed with them through all the trials. Their motto at Kingsway Cafe is “Always Grateful to Serve” he says, adding that they are a “Community African Restaurant.”
From their past employees whom majorly comprise of young Africans navigating their way in school, using their business as stepping stones to the next level (some of which are doctors, lawyers or nurses today) to their customers whom they make sure get satisfied before leaving the doors—due to their mastery of efficient service garnered from years of experience, this restaurateur duo describe themselves as a restaurant with a heart full of Love!
They are fully licensed and insured to cater for large parties, their restaurant space can also be rented out for events like birthday celebrations and more. With a dozen scotch eggs starting at $30 to a full tray of puff-puff at $60 and a 48 qt. cooler of Jollof rice at $120, Claudius says the Cafe wants you to not bother about stressing to cook when you might as well use their kitchen for your next event!
As a second generation immigrant, Claudius says he is so proud of his heritage coupled with the strength and relentlessness of his mom in her own pursuit for success and the American Dream, working with her inspires him!
Check out some of the delicious food images from their restaurant!
Kingsway scotch eggs
Address: 13919 Baltimore Ave Laurel, Maryland, 20707 United States