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What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry?
I’d probably be working in or around some of my other passions: sport, art, music or fashion. I’m pretty fitness and sport obsessed, so being a professional athlete would be the dream. That’s probably (partly) why I started RAISE, so that I’d have a snack to fuel all my sporting activities.
What was your first job?
I was a door-to-door salesperson selling flowers for a small start-up (at the time) called Freddie’s Flowers. It taught me tons about how to sell, build a business from the ground up and the importance of great culture.
What inspires you?
Seeing businesses grow from the ground up and boom nationally and globally. No day ever being the same, thinking creatively and solving new challenges. These are all reasons why I started my own business.
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
Probably waiting tables, not because it’s a bad job but because I was terrible at it. I think because I don’t really like being told what to do!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Generally, the way all the things that inspire me to interact on a daily basis. I’m building something and every day I’m faced with new challenges and the opportunity to think creatively. More specifically, great consumer feedback. There’s nothing better than hearing someone say they love your product!
And your least favourite?
Originally getting consumer feedback was my least favourite. It’s so hard to watch someone taste and critique something you’ve created. That said, it’s the most important part of the process and has enabled us to consistently improve our products and offering, to where they are today. Currently the most challenging thing is that, as a sole founder, you can never really have an off day, you have to be on it at all times.
How about the food industry?
My favourite thing is the fluidity of culture in food. It’s brilliant to see how food from different cultures - particularly in Britain and London (where I’m from) - is enjoyed by people who aren’t traditionally from those cultures. In doing that, food enables people to empathise with one another, whilst also allowing people to feel proud of who they are.
What would be your last supper?
I’m going to have to bend the rules a little bit here. If I’m allowed - it would have to start at midday, and be made up of more than 3 courses - 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 puds if possible. I’d then fit in my favourite cuisines, French, Italian and Nigerian, made by three of my favourite chefs, Alexandre Couillon, Massimo Bottura, and my mum.
What’s your motto?
There are so many great quotes that provide inspiration and could be my motto. In general, they all capture the same essence: never doubt yourself, all you need is a bit of grit, determination and a plan to achieve your goals.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably chicken blood, fried Insects or a scorpion lollipop.
What’s your favourite book?
Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Food-related would be Comfort Mob, my mum’s Jollof recipe is on page 216!
Sweet or savoury?