Food business


It is interesting how you can build a business out of the most basic things you do in your personal life. For Kátia, her idea to earn a living by making edible bouquets came when she first made one to encourage her eldest daughter to eat more fruits. And just like most of us, Kátia decided to take a photo of of it before her daughter started eating and shared with her friend who posted the picture on Facebook. People became interested in it and asked who made it and that very day, Kátia got her very first order and customer for her edible bouquets. And like they say, the rest is history.

Kátia Agy, known as a singer and TV presenter, and now, the founder of Food Lounge Mz. Her business is focused on making edible bouquets using fresh fruits and chocolates. For the past 7 years, this business has been the main source of income for Kátia, and now also her three employees.

What inspired Kátia to begin this business was the desire to become independent, and to be able to work from home to be close to her daughters. She was also inspired by the love she has for making, creating and decorating food, especially for being able to transform a plate of fruit or a simple chocolate into something interesting that grabs the attention of those who are going to eat it.

Kátia simple turned her passion into business.

She gets maximum pleasure with each bouquet creation. Indeed, The Food Lounge Mz has found a way to make people eat fruits and chocolates and get maximum pleasure and happiness from doing it. Making a bouquet to be devoured by someone is a huge responsibility and the amazement and satisfaction on the face of the recipients are constant sources of celebration. They simply sell happiness through their explosion and mixture of flavors!

For Kátia, her satisfaction as an entrepreneur comes from having more control of her time, freedom to imagine and create a concept. Also, being able to help her clients get the best gift for their loved ones and lastly, seeing her clients recommend her to other people.

For women who wish to, or are already starting a business, her advice is: Do not stop! Do what you have to do, trembling, afraid, but don’t give up. Cultivate your dreams with the same claw that is characteristic of women in all other aspects of life! Do not listen to those who consider your business without wings to fly, because even the eagle had several falls before it managed to fly high. Remember to pray, believe, work with discipline, stay focused and make it happen. It is in your hands.

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.