African Sandwich Shop

Bobby couldn’t believe that it had happened again. Rather than telling the person sitting opposite him about his business idea, he’d allowed him to talk for the full two minutes, till it was time to move onto the next person. The Speed Networking event was fun but also stressful. He didn’t like competition and aggression; maybe he wasn’t cut out for business.

The black lady he’d spotted earlier came and sat opposite him. She wore a bright turban and kaftan. Maybe she would be interested in hearing his idea for an African sandwich shop. Or maybe she was a pushy businesswoman who would tell him about her idea instead.

“Hello, I’m Betty,” she said. “My mind is filled with many profitable possibilities, but first I would like to hear about your business idea.”

“Oh thank you,” said Bobby, taken by surprise. “I have an idea for… Oh sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Bobby, I’ve recently moved to Lucerne, and I have an idea for an African sandwich shop.”

“That sounds very interesting,” said the lady, smiling broadly, and nodding her head, her turban almost toppling. “Please tell me more.”

“Oh, yes, sure. The main constituents of a sandwich are the bread, the filling, and the spread or sauce. I’m pretty tired of what’s available at most delis. White or brown bread with mayo or marge, and turkey, ham, beef or cheese salad.”

The woman nodded deeply, the top of her turban arcing eighteen inches. “Yes! Yes! So boring!” she said. People on both sides of them looked over.

“I’ve travelled quite a bit in Africa. There are simple, rich flavours there, so strange and delicious. I wanted to make creative use of them. Not so much mix and match, more adapt and innovate…”

The woman continued nodding, her turban top now attracting much attention. “What places have you been to? What flavours did you like?”

“Just in terms of bread ingredients, we could use carbohydrates like Morroccan cous cous, Egyptian Nile barley, Ethiopian injera, Tanzanian ugali, Zimbabwean sadza, Nigerian cassava, Namibian bush potatoes, and have a weekly Saharan Special where we try something really crazy.”

“Ha! Ha! That sounds wonderful!” Her nodding was huge; her voice booming. Speed Networkers and other attendees of the New Idea Show stopped and stared. “I can help you with this. I am a trained chef and master baker. Shall we test recipes next week?”

“That would be great! Which part of Africa do you come from? We can start with that.”

“I come from the Caribbean,” she said. “St Vincent and Grenadines. Not Africa.”

Bobby hadn’t considered this possibility. He must have looked shocked. “But I come from Africa originally. We all do. That’s why I wish to help you with your business. It will reconnect us to our source.”

“Our sauce?” said Bobby, before realizing his mistake.

As a bell rang to signal the session’s end, the New Ideas Show was abuzz with talk of the African sandwich shop.

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2 Responses to “African Sandwich Shop”

  1. You haven’t changed “onto”. One jumps onto a body, but one moves on to another matter. Trivial? In this case maybe.

  2. Amun Ra Says:

    Fun story. Hope I get to eat an african sandwich! Ancient Egyptians loved beer and bread!

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