Despite several efforts to re-open, Martha’s Daughter will officially leave its downtown Duluth location to go back to chef/owner Nyanyika Banda’s roots as a pop-up. Banda had opened the ambitiously local food restaurant in the former Coney Island location on Superior Street on Valentine’s Day in 2018. Unfortunately, the challenge was too much for the restaurant which struggled with hours, license fees, and more. Today Banda said it was time to walk away from the location and revert to a nomadic business model. For this month, it will pop-up around Duluth. After that, it’s time to leave the area. She said, “After May 5th, Martha’s Daughter is hitting the road and will be doing collaboration dinners and pop-ups in Madison, Minneapolis, Western Massachusetts and San Francisco.”
Martha’s Daughter began as a pop-up five years ago during Duluth’s popular Homegrown Music Festival at the Red Herring Lounge serving alternately tacos, ramen, and other dishes. News of Banda’s stellar culinary pedigree spread quickly. She added more events, served more food, and gained accolades along with fans. Martha’s Daughter won the Restaurant Worth the Drive Eater Twin Cities Award in 2018.
Banda grew up in Western Massachusetts, has worked at WD-50 and Mission Chinese in New York, but moved to the Twin Ports to attend the University of Wisconsin Superior.