Nicole Nneka Nwachie studied Microbiology at Delta State University, Nigeria. But she was not one to queue on the labour market file for unavailable jobs; she resorted to being the best at something she loved – being part of other people’s nutritional journey. The Founder of Like Mama Does Food Place, a food delivery service in Lagos and Dubai, which started in August 2019, takes KATELEMI CLAUDE on a short trip into her enterprise
Relate you experience in this enterprise, ‘Like Mama Does Food Place’
Running a food delivery business has been thrilling. When you do something you love, the challenges seem like a difficult stage in an amazing game. I enjoy working my way out of whatever comes. Cooking, as a hobby to me, makes everything easier.
Why do you prefer food business to your elitist career?
In Nigeria, even professionals get a side hustle. After four years working in offices, I knew it was time to get my own business running. I had to find a business that was centred around my hobby, something that I’m passionate about, profitable and has the tendency to grow over the years. Food is a necessity. You can’t go wrong with that.
You have two branches of this business in two major cities (Lagos and Dubai). How is the patronage?
There s competition everywhere; Lagos, Dubai, basically everywhere. But I won’t disregard the rate of turnover in Dubai. Even if the market is getting saturated, a lot of Nigerians are more willing to patronise you as long as you are amazing at what you do. In Lagos, this is not always the case. Of course, loyal customers understand the value of your stuff and stick with you, but it can be more taxing to get new people to try your meal, considering that almost everyone is going into the business now.
As you satisfied with how the Nigerian society treats entrepreneurs?
The Nigerian government needs to appreciate our efforts towards survival and boosting the economy. I mean, we just don’t sit around waiting for them to create jobs; we go out there and do the work for ourselves. All we expect are favourable policies to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, loans, re-orientation and projects that will be helpful to every going concern out there. Imagine life with 24 hours electricity, good road network and internet. This could be a really big boost.
Apart from food, what other business do you think you are good at?
I currently own and manage a multi-brand Fashion Outlet. Due to the pandemic, the fashion business has been slow, but I am hopeful things will get better. Again, in the nearest future, I envision investment in agriculture.
How do you see Nigeria’s business climate as it affects entrepreneurs?
I would admit that Nigerians are helpful when it comes to patronising businesses they believe in. It is one thing I am grateful for.
What stands your eatery out from the ordinary ‘mama put’?
‘Like Mama Does Food Place’ offers more than food; we listen to our customers’ needs and our best to meet them outside the regular ‘buy and sell’ standard. We build a rapport with our customer base to make them realise that they have an opinion about what goes on with their meals. We respect the criticisms/ideas they have to share. Basically, Like Mama Does is for us all.