For several years Tokunbo had dreamt of bringing delicious authentic Nigerian food to a wider audience. Born in London and raised in Nigeria until the age of 9, Tokunbo grew up on hearty Nigerian food and when she moved back to London she didn’t even try non Nigerian food for many years. In more recent years Tokunbo noticed a gap in the market and realised that nobody was offering the food that she loved and grew up on. Tokunbo said “Tee’s Food Corner arose due to the gap in the street food market for a service that specialises in Nigerian cuisine. Tokunbo’s Kitchen is a not just a food event but an opportunity to enjoy authentic Nigerian food within an informal and social experience.”
Tokunbo started her business in 2015 with a pop up stall at weekly markets, events and festivals, but after about four months realised that she needed to expand by purchasing some new equipment and also a van for easier transportation to the markets and festivals. Unfortunately Tokunbo was unable to obtain a loan from banks or other startup funding and she was struggling to find a way to expand her blossoming business. Luckily Tokunbo had taken on a business mentor from MLB Solutions who put her in touch with Fredericks Foundation. Tokunbo successfully applied for a loan from Fredericks Foundation, saying “I found the application process quite easy and appreciated the email reminders on completing the application as well as any amendments that were needed.” With the loan Tokunbo was able to purchase her much needed equipment including a van, fridge freezer and some multi cookers.
Tokunbo’s Kitchen is now going from strength to strength and turned 2 in autumn 2017. Tokunbo hopes to continue to build the business and says “Eventually I would like to compile a cookbook of some of my favourite Nigerian meals as well as a permanent space where people from all cultures can come to enjoy authentic home cooked Nigerian meals. I would like to eventually have a restaurant or space where people can come and enjoy Nigerian food without the usual complaints of poor customer service and delay in getting the food.”
We asked Tokunbo to sum up her thoughts about the support that she received from Fredericks Foundation, she said, “I am very grateful for the support that Fredericks Foundation has given me in terms of this loan. Not only was it a validation for me that my business idea has potential, it came at a time when I had exhausted all my own funding and was feeling a bit despondent. This loan has given me and my business a surge of energy which has enabled me to take actions towards my goals and objectives.”
For more information, please visit: www.tokunboskitchen.com