Olaleye Nafisat Morenikeji is a student of the University of Ibadan, Oyo state. She is an entrepreneur whose entrepreneurship is in the food industry. Nazmafoods is the brand she has built in the food industry. She had an interview with us at InterviewStories. We present the interview we had with the foodpreneur Olaleye Nafisat Morenikeji.
Can we know you?
My name is Olaleye Nafisat Morenikeji. I am a home cook, content creator and entrepreneur. I am from Ogun state raised in Lagos and a student of University of Ibadan in Oyo state.
What type of content do you create?
Food content, I take food pictures , write recipes and make food videos.
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is about passion and taking risks on that passion, entrepreneurship requires creativity, innovation. An entrepreneur has to be creative and open minded.
What do you do as an entrepreneur?
I cook, I cook to bring happiness to people, to make money and also teach other people how to cook.
Does that make you a caterer?
No, I’m not a caterer. A caterer provides food and drinks to a gathering or event. I’m a home cook/amateur chef which means I have passion for cooking, but I’m less skilled than a professional chef. Sometimes I do the work of a caterer,but I’m not a caterer.
Do you see yourself as a chef?
An amateur chef, because I haven’t acquired the skills and certificate to be a professional chef. But I’m working on becoming a professional after I graduate. I have to go to a culinary school to become a professional.
What skills do you need to be a chef?
To be a chef requires a lot of skills which includes knife skills, plating skills, methods of cooking different foods, knowledge of ingredients, learning taste of ingredients, mastering how to manipulate the ingredients, mastering recipes .
Do you work with a chef?
No, I work on my own
How did you acquire your skills?
I learnt most of what I know on social media, especially YouTube. I learnt a lot of continental and local dishes by watching YouTube videos, I learnt how to plate food on Facebook food groups.
Then, during the student union strike in my school in 2017, I did an amateur diploma course on continental dishes which improved my skills.
What then makes you unique?
I’m very creative and make unique foods that always stands out. I provide quality and healthy home cooked food to people and it makes them happy.
Recently I developed a pizza recipe that makes pizza affordable to everyone. It is pizza in a very mini size and still taste like pizza!
Where do you get your customers/clients from?
For now I only sell to students of university of Ibadan and few outsiders. I post adverts on social media especially WhatsApp, advertise in classes to reach out to them.
Do you have a brand name?
Yes I do. My brand name is Nazmafoods.
What other products do you make apart from pizza?
I make beef burger, chicken sandwich and fish sandwich.
Can anybody eat these foods and what nutritional value do they offer to the body?
Yes, these foods are comfort foods that most people consider unhealthy, but Nazmafoods makes sure the foods are balanced by adding vegetables, and using the best ingredients .
Burger, sandwich, and pizza are good sources of Iron, Carbohydrates, and Protein.
Some people can’t eat cheese which is part of the recipe for burger and pizza. They can’t eat it because they are milk intolerant, so I modify the recipe for them.
Is this business profitable for you?
Of course it is, there’s no business without profit, and loss! Though it was challenging to make profit because I had to balance the quality of food with the price and make it affordable for students.
How long does it take you to make these products?
It doesn’t take me less than 12 hours. Because I’m still in school, I don’t have lots of tools, so I have to make preparations ahead. I use about 7 hours to prepare, about 5 hours to assemble the foods.
Why does it take that long to prepare?
Like I said before, I have limited access to space and tools, because I’m still a student staying in a hostel. And the ingredients I use for my foods are scarce here in Ibadan, so I have to prepare ahead. But I’m working on getting more tools and space.
What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?
My major challenge is balancing price and quality. Also, making my products affordable to students. Other challenges include not having access to ingredients like cheese; I only find it in two stores, and also balancing my education with my business. But I’m handling them pretty well.
Is funding not a problem?
It is, in fact it is another major challenge
How have you been able to make sure these problems do not limit your business?
I prepare ahead, that solves a lot of future potential problems. And to balance business with education, I only sell on weekends.
Tell us your first experience?
My first experience was making chicken and fish club-sandwich for sale within my department, and it was well received, and that was how it started. I made just fifteen sandwiches that day. I sold all before the mid of that day.
Did you make loss that day?
No, but I didn’t make profit either, I made exactly the amount I invested
What lesson did you learn from that experience?
It was my first ever actual business experience, and it was really exciting. I learnt that one just need to start something, if you have an idea, passion, starting something even without enough resources will open you to more opportunities. I also learnt people really love good food and that food is the key to every creatures heart. It makes them happy and makes me happy too.
Tell us your most disappointing event you had since you started Nazmafoods?
My most disappointing event in the food production was a department excursion which I invested a lot of energy, time into and then I was able to sell just four out of fifteen sandwiches.
My most disappointing event for my content creation was losing an SD card containing lots of food pictures and videos. This events were painful and I felt like quitting then, but I didn’t because I’ve learnt that failure is part of growth, it makes me better.
After those events, I worked more on my food prices, and I invested more in storage and backup for my contents.
What keeps you going on?
My passion for cooking! and the smile I see on people’s faces after eating my food. I feel cooking is my way of communicating and sharing love and happiness to the world. Also, my determination to have a long-lasting brand that will leave an impact.
Do you work alone?
Yes, but recently I’ve been making large quantities of food , about hundred, which was really challenging. So I’ve just employed someone who would work with me next semester. And I’m also working on employing a delivery man.
Will you be paying them?
Yes, of course.
What future plans do you have for Nazmafoods?
Nazmafoods is already on its path to the future. It is going to be based on what it is already, it is only going to expand more.
Do you have investors?
No, I don’t…… I’m already in alliance with some individuals, but it is not official yet.
How long have your business existed?
It’s been a year and a month now.
Describe your experience and journey?
It was very exciting and I learnt a lot.
How did you raise funds to start your business?
I used personal savings. I then invested the capital with the profit to produce more .
How much did you start with?
I started with five thousand naira.
Do you think you could have raised more to start the business?
I am a student and I was not working, it was just enough to start! Though I had to borrow machines for the production.
What did you use the five thousand naira to purchase?
I used it to buy ingredients to make fifteen sandwiches
Which industry do you work in and what advise do you have for entrepreneurs that want to join the industry?
Food industry. My advice for entrepreneurs that wants to join the food industry, whether food production, food content production on social media is to START! Its really challenging to start because you might feel you do not have enough capital, resources…. but in the real sense, you might not need much to start something. And practice, consistency is also really important in the food industry.
Does every entrepreneur needs mentor or mentorship?
If mentor here means someone you look up to and learn from, then yes, there’s always someone we look up to.
Do you have a mentor?
I have four mentors.
How can young entrepreneurs raise funds?
I raised my funds from personal savings, so I’ll advice them to save from their allowance from their parents, or from their salary, if they are working. And they can also get sponsors and investors.
How can one know the kind of entrepreneurship industry one can venture into?
Your passion determines the industry you can venture into.
What are the risks associated with entrepreneurship that you have experienced?
Losing money, not making profit, running out of ideas.
How can people contact you?
- Call/whatsapp- 08147356046
- Email- email@example.com
- Instagram- nazma_foods
- Facebook page- nazmafoods
- YouTube- Nazmafoods