Great meals go beyond having excellent culinary skills or knowing how to mix ingredients or spices to achieve great taste. It involves ensuring the cooking ingredients used are healthy enough for consumption. This is why Adanne Uche, a graduate of Foreign Languages and Literature, started Ady’s Food Mart in 2017 to improve nutrition and help consumers stay healthy and also ensure families and catering companies have healthy options of cooking ingredients to use for their meals.

Adanne was inspired to venture into this line of business when she observed the overwhelming influx of adulterated food ingredients and spices in the market and its effects on the health of its consumers. This is why she saw a need to process and package healthy food ingredients and spices for consumers in Nigeria and Africa, where healthy African dishes are appreciated.

It has been a rollercoaster but something I am confident in saying is that we have scaled to become a household name.

With no previous knowledge in entrepreneurship. Adanne started her first business after the birth of her first daughter, but having no entrepreneurial skills it failed after 2 years. She started another business after a year, it still did not work, that is until she found something she really enjoys doing and that is cooking.
So she decided to cook and do something that could give her joy and at the same time pay her a salary.

Ady’s Food Mart was birthed with a N30,000 loan from her brother. She decided to solve food adulteration problems starting with Palm Oil, then grew to other food ingredients and a world of spices, where they process, package and distribute healthy spices to families in Nigeria.

From her journey and experience, the simple piece of advice she can give to anyone is “Find your passion that can get you paid, study it, look for someone that has done it before you, learn from them, run with it, and be resilient.”

In the past few  weeks, we have witnessed a situation that has not only put the world at a standstill but also affected families and businesses. Many can’t afford to put food on the table as a result of the global lockdown to help contain the virus.

Agro Entrepreneur Ibenero Tobiloba Tolase is helping to alleviate the pain of many by providing them with food and giving them hope through her Teemark Food Company; where she produces and processes raw foods such as (Garri Ijebu, Yam flour and plantain flour).

With support from well meaning Nigerians she’s been able to feed over 200 families in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, as they partner with her to package foodstuff under four thousand Naira to feed each family in a bid to give hope, pending when things go back to normal.

The graduate of Pure and Applied chemistry from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) was inspired by her love for Agriculture and passion for food which started when She was young. Tobi loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they eat good quality food.

Aside from Agricuulture, Tobi is also passionate about issues ​that affects women and young girls, through her Girlscrib initiative , she  helps sensitise women and teenage girls on the importance of menstrual health. This initiative also distributes sanitary pads to secondary school girls

She is the Creative Director of JEMBRIDALS, a bridal outfit. a one stop bridal shop for traditional wedding and asoebi and also volunteers for PROJECT SMILE, an NGO that reaches out to the orphans all over Nigeria.

She shares her inspiring story in this interview.

Growing up

My childhood was fun and I am glad I had a mother is filled with wisdom and  taught me all I know today, I am the eldest of two children and was trained well in all area not because I am a girl but because I would be a leader some day. One thing that was constant in our home was food to give to friends and families. My mum always told us never look the other way when people around you have nothing to eat and that lesson is what is guiding me till date.

Inspiration behind Teemarkfoods

Good food! My love for food and Agriculture inspired Teemarkfood. One of the ways I feel fulfilled is seeing people have access to quality food and which has been my mantra since I was a child.

Reception since Inception

It is a learning process, but I am grateful to God for wisdom to discern the pros and cons of the business. People have been very supportive and accepting of my initiative.

Support for Female Agropreneurs

Well, we are not there yet but times are changing we will get there eventually. We are not backing down, we will keep pushing till we are are at the front burner and recognised for our efforts as change agents.

Giving hope to those affected by the lockdown

There was a point in my life when we had nothing to eat as a family, it was a very difficult time and with that understanding, knowing that there are families out there who do not have anything to feed on but might be reluctant to ask from friends and families, the next thing I thought of was reaching out to them first.

Effect of the Lockdown and Coronavirus on Agropreneur

Honestly I would say transportation getting the food from one place to the other so people access to it easily, but we are doing our best to give hope and lighten the burden of people, we are also calling on well meaning Nigerians to help alleviate the pain of these people by partnering with us through her platform to feed more people.

Challenges of being an Agro Entrepreneur

Financial challenges: Agro Entrepreneurs not having Access to loans and enough capital to improve and increase the productivity.

Transportation: Government should help reduce charges and fees paid on farm produce that are transported from farm to urban areas

Education: sensitisation of our local farmers on technology and its advantages on agriculture is also very important because it makes the production faster and delivery to consumers quick.

Other projects and activities

I am working on a project called “Girlscrib” this is an NGO for women and teenage girls, the project will help Educate women on menstrual health and also provide sanitary pads to secondary school girls.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I believe I carry greatness within me and I am on a journey to transfer that greatness into each and everyone I come across by spreading love.

To young  women who want to become Agro Entrepreneurs

I would say this first, Trust God to use you as a vessel for greatness, believe strongly in your self and lastly stay focus. When you have these three you become unstoppable.