With a need to help people eat local and healthy, Gbayike Bolanle or Olori Bola as she is popularly known started Anike Edibles, an African healthy food brand that specializes in its production of healthy breakfast which includes Akara, Moimoi, Pap or Ogi as locally called and KuliKuli; a West African snack commonly found in Nigeria, Benin, Northern Cameroon and Ghana. This young woman is being driven by her need to see a tremendous growth in the Nigerian economy through agriculture and also to make healthy and edible Made-in-Nigerian food accessible for all.
Meet Gbayike Bolanle:
My name is Gbayike Bolanale. I’m a lover of God, easy going and a goal getter who sets her mind on something positive and work towards achieving it. I have zero social life which I’m still working on and this means when I am not working on my business, I am resting at home.
Linorajj (L): Why such a business?
Gbayike Bolanle (GB): I decided to start The business having noticed that Nigerians generally love pap And Kuli Kuli but feel too tired to make it themselves while others are being careful to buy from the roadside not knowing the water or the environment that it is made from I wanted to do something different from the usual have wanted to own a Brand, and then I thought to my self since I know how to naturally do these things, I could make a living out of it.
L: What inspired the name, “Anike”?
GB: Anike is a Yoruba name which means something you have and cherish. It’s an appraisal gotten from my mom.
LA: How did you Start?
GB: Well I must say entrepreneurship started at a tender age, but for the records, business started fully 2009 when I got To the University. Since food is one of the basic necessity of life and my passion for humanity basically informed my choice of carving a niche for myself in the Nigerian food market. I always wanted To make my own money.
L: How did you learn how to make this?
GB: I grew up in the North, so it was something I grew up seeing. I didn’t take it seriously then because I didn’t see the need for it at that time, so starting it now as a full-time business, I decided to learn the machinery and modern ways of grinding and extracting oil instead of the local way.
L: How has it been for you so far?
GB: Well, entrepreneurship is hard I must say, especially in a Country where your brand needs To have a name accepted by some top citizens ” I believe I will be able to go on and grow, I believe I will carve a niche for the business through different innovation and also by launching a mobile app to satisfy the needs of prospective customers”.
L: What has been your Driving force?
GB: I have a keen interest in the Nigeria economic growth and social development which fuels My passion for small and medium scale business. I equally have a strong interest in making accessible the nutritious foods I produce to people across the world.
L: What have you learned in the course of this business?
GB: While I was serving I did a course on Customer Relations, so it helped me or shape me to be who I am becoming as a Business person today have learned to be patient. There are some customers I Need to be extremely patient with so I don’t loose Customers. I have learned to avoid procrastination, I have to do everything at the Right time. Time is not my friend, I have learned consistency. Most importantly I have learned to be very calculative
L: What’s the most challenging African meal you have ever cooked?
GB: Lol. My First attempt to pound yam wasn’t successful, I tried harder but it won’t get smooth, So I think the pounding isn’t my thing
L: Do you have a sustainable plan for this business moving forward?
GB: Yes. Anike Edibles is looking forward to meeting the needs of many Nigerians, therefore we are working hard to making sure that every Nigerian will be able to afford the Nigerian made edibles
L: A word to my younger self?
GB: Never give up On Your self.
L: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
GB: I am a volunteer with an Abuja Based non Governmental Foundation called Auxano Foundation, Recently I face being made the Regional branch manager in Lagos, so I work twice hard now. I love to write, and I take my break time to sleep
L: Who is your greatest inspiration?
GB: God has been faithful I must say, My elder sister, CEO Glitterati Skincare is my pacesetter
She pushes me And Supports me to be better, she can be called my Biggest fan, her name is Mrs. Folake Ibironke. Women like Mrs. Folusho Alakajika, Tara Durotoye, Mo’ Abudu also inspires me because they are women who have distinguished themselves in their various lines of businesses.
L: Words to fresh graduates looking to start a business without previous skill(s) they can presently tap into?
GB: Starting a business is a thing of the mind, once you can plus and minus and set your mind to it, then pray to God to direction on what to do. It doesn’t matter the type of business. Don’t be ashamed to start from the scratch, as long as it is a legal business. I remember when I started. A lot of friends laughed at me, they said after university, why setting up for a kuli factory, but I didn’t mind what they said, I know I am heading somewhere. Don’t be ashamed of little beginnings. Be different. Now they call me The kuli king because it is amazing how the kuli is going