When the news broke that pretty looking star actress, Iyabo Ojo, had started an Amala food business in Lekki phase 1, many immediately dismissed it a huge joke.
This is because people found it difficult to picture the beautiful and ‘posh’ looking Iyabo Ojo running an Amala joint. And when it dawned on everyone that the story was true, many were left wondering why she’d ventured into that line of business, totally leaving her more familiar terrain of beauty and entertainment.
But, today, a few months after she started, no one is asking questions anymore as the business is doing exceedingly well. The business has become very popular with lots of movies and other showbiz celebs trooping to the joint to have a feel of the Fespris Abula Spot experience.
The extremely busy Iyabo Ojo spoke with WALE LAWAL not long ago. She opened up on how she conceived the idea to go into the food business and how she’s been able to transform the fortunes of the business after only a couple of months in operations.
According to Iyabo Ojo, ‘Okay, from a very young age, I grew up with my granny, my mum’s dad, and she was a hotelier. She was also a caterer. She did a lot of food business.
Living with her, I got to know a lot about food and I found it very interesting. I’ve always known I would go into the food business but I wanted to do it at the right time when I knew I would have all the time the business requires because it’s a time-consuming business.
And you know, with the nature of my profession as an actress and a movie producer, having to give that time was a very difficult thing at the early stage of my career. So, I said to myself, a day would come when I would venture into this business and by then, I would have not just the time but also the capital to do it the way I want to, so that kind of motivated me back then.
But you know, when I moved down to the Island, my interest in food business grew more because I found out that the Amala in the local way that we buy it on the Mainland is not that much on the Island.
Most of the food on the Island is usually over-packaged, you don’t have the local way of buying Amala and eating it hot from the pot, and that sort of reignited my desire to go into the food business in that way.
I thought to myself, Iyabo, you can do this Abula business, you know, like eating your local Amala in a posh environment and that really brought back the excitement for me and I decided I was ready to go into the business now.
When asked if she could describe herself as a great cook, she responded saying, ‘(Laughs) Trust me, yes, I am. I told you I grew up with my granny and she’s a caterer, plus she runs a hotel.
I started cooking ‘officially’ when I was fourteen, but I’ve been in the kitchen ever since I was like nine or ten, but I started cooking for the whole family when I was fourteen. I also used to go help out in the restaurant then, so I’ve always been a very good cook.
I remember when I was young, when my friends were out partying, I was busy cooking. And being the first grand-daughter also, I was always in the kitchen cooking for the boys, so I had no choice but to be a good cook.