A new independent grocer that recently opened in west suburban Maywood is seeking to become the go-to source for people on the West Side looking for ethnic African and Caribbean groceries that you won’t get at your typical corporate chains.

Kingston Market Caribbean and African Groceries opened its doors for the first time on June 8.

Mark Phillips, 36, who owns and operates the store alongside his wife, Askale Phillips, 29, said that his establishment offers products that are directly imported from Jamaica.

Patrons will find on the shelves everything from Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, 10 brands of jerk chicken marinade and salted fish products to that hard-to-find authentic hard dough bread.

Phillips said that his store is likely the first of its kind in the west suburbs and in the West Side, more generally, serving customers who want authentic Caribbean and African food products.

“We really wanted to emphasize the Jamaican selection, because those products are slim in other stores,” said Phillips, adding that most of his competitors are located on the South Side. 

His father, Barrington, emigrated from Jamaica and his mother, Eugenia, emigrated from the Philippines. Phillips, his wife and their son, Jovanni, were all born in Jamaica.

“We always wanted to do this as a family growing up,” said Phillips, who also has a professional background in real estate. “So, we put it into motion.”

Kingston Market Caribbean and African Groceries is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days. For more info, call (708) 589-5703.

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com