Family is the ‘Heart’ of Success at Mola Foods

When people visit Mola Foods in Nashua, they are immediately greeted with bright colors and a warm smile by Founder and Owner LaFortune Jeannette Djabea, who “loves to share” African cuisine and culture. “Africa is so diverse, rich, and vibrant,” she said. “Mola Foods is my invitation into my world.” Her world began in Cameroon, a central African country on the Gulf of Guinea, a place she described as “a melting pot of all other cultures from Africa. “Our cuisine is just as versatile,” she said.

In 2000 at age 24, she made “the big move” to the US and settled in Georgia. She soon, however, was joined by her brothers, ages 13 and 15. “I had no kids at the time,” Djabea explained. “However, six months after entering the US, my mother lost her job.” She said her brothers’ future became her priority. “She took the last savings she had to send my brothers to me in the US so they could get a chance at a better life,” she added.

Despite this unexpected responsibility, Djabea said she worked full-time as a pastry assistant and attended college. Eventually earning a BS in Science and a Master in Public Health, she also married and started a family during this time, although an abusive marriage led Djabea to relocate to Worcester, MA in 2010 with her kids. “I needed to protect my kids, my family, so I made a choice to start a new life in the Northeast,” she explained.

In 2014, though, Djabea discovered Nashua, which reminded her of several places she called home in Georgia. Two years later, she realized a lifelong dream of owning her own business when she founded Mola Foods, which features African spice blends and food. Recently, Mola Foods expanded to include dine-in eating in addition to takeout service. Many of her products are also available at area retail outlets.

“I love the fact that the city is spacious and the people are friendly. This place feels like home.”

LaFortune Jeannette Djabea

She said she draws inspiration from her grandmother, who encouraged her to look at her life with her heart as opposed to her eyes. “The idea was for me to stop measuring how much I have done or how much I have left to do,” she said. “Rather, my grandmother wanted me to focus on what I have so far accomplished so I can keep going until the task at hand is complete.”

Remaining true to this life lesson has helped Djabea stay “grounded” in her role as not just an entrepreneur, but a mom. “I’m a mom to three amazing children, she said. “I don’t try to figure out how I do things, I just do. If I don’t, who else will?”

According to Djabea, there is no place she would like to ‘figure out how to do things’ than in Nashua. “I’ve been here since 2014 and love it here,” she said. “I love the fact that the city is spacious and the people are friendly. This place feels like home.”

Located at 9 Simon St., Nashua, Mola Foods features dine-in and takeout service along with a meal plan and a digital storefront with many of its products available at area retail outlets.