Someone once said food is our common ground, and a universal experience. The fuel that helps us drive through life with ease. Healthy eating is one of the biggest food advocacy in the world, the food we eat has an immense effect on her physical and emotional wellbeing.
Orighoye Dore “Chef Nylah” is a proud food manufacturer, and an advocate of healthy living. She is the CEO of Nylah’s food and manufacturing company, a business venture that focuses on sustainable foods, and helps to reduce post-harvest loss. Nylah’s products incorporate fruits and vegetables in their production process. Some of which are artisanal breads, granolas, and lemonades.
The lemonades are made from fresh juices and infused with lemongrass. Which are fantastic immune boosters. The granolas are nut allergy friendly and rich in fiber, low cholesterol and minerals and nutrients. Chef Nylah believes that food is not just about eating but an experience that should be savored passionately. Nylah’s products can be found in all ShopRite stores nationwide and other retail stores in Lagos and Abuja.
Chef Nylah is a trained chef from the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Washington in Rosslyn, Virginia. With a degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. She is a retired United States Air force veteran where she served as a Nuclear weapon security specialist and an EDC Alumni.
She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this interview.
I was one of those kids that played with cooking growing up. I would make little fires and cook junk growing up. In an interesting way, my childhood did prepare me for what I do now.
Inspiration behind Nylah’s Food and Beverage
I was tired of seeing the number of foods that we lose in the Nigerian market. We lose about $750 billion dollars yearly to post harvest loss. I started asking myself how I could help. What unique products could we at Nylah’s create to do our bit in helping to reduce that number, and how can we help reduce the unemployment rate most especially as it affects women. That was how Nylah’s Lemonades were born. We use fresh juices and infuse them with lemon grass.
The Journey so far
It has been an interesting and bumpy ride to say the least. I have chosen to take every experience good or bad as a lesson in what to continue to do or not to do.
Having my product sold at Shoprite
I would honestly say persistence. I chased it for almost a year as I tried to grow my reach with other companies. Consistency also contributed to it.
Why I ventured into Granola production
I always look for the gaps in our industry and try to bridge it. Using natural flavorings in some of our variants as well as focusing on a less served market in the granola industry, we positioned ourselves to serve that market.
Challenges of my work
Access to funds to allow us to scale, Proper staffing sometimes is also a major problem, not to mention the economy and its impact on businesses.
3 women who inspire me to be better and why
Jola Ladipo – Never met anyone as selfless as she is. She forces me to reflect and ask myself daily what I can do better as a person and for others.
J.K Rowling – We share similar stories and I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a myth.
My last is to every woman out there who when she gets up, the devil shivers.
Key nuggets on how to become a successful food manufacturer
Keep practicing your craft.
Learn the numbers as they govern your business. This cannot be stressed enough.
Expand your network.
Never stop learning and evolving.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I inspire and lift other women up. I have created a channel of employment for other women and set them up on the right path.