Bissap Baobab

381 15th Street
Numbers of Years in Oakland: One year

Since the opening of our first restaurant in San Francisco in 1997, Bissap Baobab has promoted a community embracing environment, which cherishes and supports passionate individuals and organizations seeking to positively affect the communities they live in. At Baobab we love diversity, the cultivation of the arts and having a sense of community, all while seeking to create a connection between our distinct African flavors and the interesting Californian culture. We offer a full restaurant with a variety of gourmet African dishes, Afro wraps ­which is our African version of a burrito, and our popular hibiscus, tamarind and ginger homemade juices. We also offer a sense of community in a laid back setting where our customers can come and enjoy a lovely meal. We host weekly/monthly international dance parties and live performances as well.

From owner, Marco Senghor

Q: What inspired you to start the business?
In the last couple of years, many of my customers and friends were leaving San Francisco and moving into the East Bay, mostly Oakland. Many kept asking when was I moving into the East Bay and bringing the party along. Thus, I decided to move where my customers were; I was just following the flow.

Q: Why do your customers love your business?
What is not to love? We offer a variety of charming West African food and delicious signature juice­based cocktails. All without forgetting about the hospitality that is so important and characteristic in our Senegalese culture.

Q: What is the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
Oakland residents are interesting and kind people. It is always a pleasure to serve them and be surrounded by so much diversity. Here, as I mentioned before, is where many of my long time customers and friends are residing now, so being in Oakland just has a sense of familiarity and community that we, at Bissap Baobab, just love.

Q: What are some of your favorite local business in Oakland?
My favorite businesses are both within a walking distance of Bissap Baobab. They are Hi Life Pizzeria and the Hatch.

Q: What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
Oakland just has uniqueness to it. On top of having some of the kindest people I know, it offers great weather, sunny days and of course, the beautiful Lake Merritt.

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