Nigerian entrepreneur turns aspect-hustle into thriving bakery business enterprise

George T. Taft

Nike Majekodunmi

When an acquaintance tasted Nike Majekodunmi’s cookies for the initially time in 2006 at a housewarming occasion in Lagos, Nigeria, he instantly enquired about the marketing cost. Majekodunmi, an e-business management advisor at the time, felt a bit offended that he would imagine baking was “all she did for a living”. But, he persisted and became her very first shopper.

Shortly thereafter, the exact same person positioned a substantial buy for his company’s Xmas bash. “That is when I finally admitted I also bake, with standard orders coming in,” she remembers.

Her solutions turned ever more well-known. “For a while, I was a baker by night time, e-small business expert by working day.” It was all over this time that she bought married, and when the few wanted to get started a loved ones, she selected to depart her day job and focus on the baking. The plan of the overall flexibility, that she could function from household and have time to invest with the youngsters appealed to her.

“Little did I know the business enterprise was going to snowball into this equipment,” she laughs. The customer base grew so promptly, she had to move out of her residence kitchen into a shop considerably less than a 12 months later on.

Majekodunmi formally rebranded to Nuts About Cakes in 2010 to highlight the knowledge the bakery experienced created in cakes. What was as soon as a facet-hustle has turned into a flourishing bakery chain with a lot more than 130 workforce and 8 retail outlets.

Securing finance and reinvestment

One of the early milestones for the enterprise was when it moved from its authentic spot to a additional prominent place in Lekki Stage 1, a properly-prepared, mapped-out residential scheme by the Lagos state govt. “I realised I experienced to elevate finance for this go, since I desired to go huge-scale. I wanted the modern day comforts, top quality devices and a café,” she claims.

Majekodunmi drew up her business enterprise strategy and tried to promote her dream to good friends and acquaintances. “It is quite humbling when you are wanting for finance. I took that organization program from house to home, business office to business office.”

In the close, the only traders who did take fairness were her husband and her father. Her mom also provided a compact bank loan.

Nonetheless, it was more than enough to get Nuts About Cakes into its new area. The crew of 4 had to lock various rooms simply because they to begin with experienced no use for them. The organization straight away received its initial wander-in customers. “The first day two individuals arrived into the store and we were being so psyched,” she laughs. “Then we experienced 4, then 6 and it grew from there. Now, across all the destinations, we most likely have 700 to 800 everyday wander-ins.”

There have been a couple techniques the team took to mature the business. From the start out, reinvestment was a focus. Majekodunmi did not attract a wage at initial, rather, ploughing all the revenue back into the organization. Nuts About Cakes steadily expanded its products alternatives. The cookies and cakes were well known but the firm opted to use a pastry chef so it could offer bread. This brought a continual stream of daily foot visitors as a result of the doorways. Majekondunmi then included meat pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs. “Another big milestone was when we opened the café at our Lekki Period 1 shop. We turned nicely regarded.”

The products line-up – put together with the café product – was replicated in the upcoming area, Ikoyi, one of the most high-priced actual estate areas in Nigeria. Then followed a bakery and café in Circle Shopping mall, Lagos. Today, there are eight retail shops.

In 2014, Majekodunmi went back to the classroom to entire a small business course at Lagos Business enterprise University. “It was an owner-administration programme which aided me consider of myself as a bakery director instead of just the baker,” she states. She also completed a Seed Transformation Programme in small business administration and management from Stanford College Graduate School of Business in 2018.

A multichannel solution

Nuts About Cakes supplies its cookies, cakes and pastries to customers via numerous “clicks and bricks” channels, explains Majekodunmi. About 30% of all profits appear by means of telephonic orders. Stroll-ins stay a mainstay regardless of the impression of Covid-19 restrictions.

A channel that is fast gaining traction is sales created as a result of social media. The organization is active on Fb and Instagram. 1 channel that has amazed Majekodunmi is the company’s WhatsApp Organization account. “I hardly ever considered people would be comfy inserting orders around WhatsApp it is a growing channel for us.”

A Nuts About Cakes keep

Nuts About Cakes also has an e-commerce platform. It is not executing as effectively as the other individuals but it is common with people living abroad – specially the US, United kingdom and Canada – who want to position orders for shipping and delivery to household associates in Lagos.

The firm counts important organizations these types of as Citibank and Microsoft underneath its company clients and also supplies colleges, boarding amenities and churches.

“Our up coming move is to build a mobile app to more assist this multichannel system,” states Majekodunmi.

Old and new competition

The company has two main opponents in Lagos, equally of which have been around for much more than two a long time. There are also new rivals. When Majekodunmi started out baking cookies all all those several years ago, cake famous people – like Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, or the team from Charly’s Cake Angels in Cape Town – were not as preferred. There was also no Instagram.

“From close to 2014, when the Television reveals truly took off, people today began earning cupcakes and cake pops. Points altered today, Instagram companies as a collective have grown to develop into a substantial competitor.”

Nuts About Cakes experienced to improve its technique to be equipped to contend with Instagram bakers when it arrives to bespoke cakes. A home baker on Instagram would commit a day or two decorating a cake and putting up the ideal pictures. “For me, if I have a decorator that only embellished two cakes in a working day, he has not revealed up for operate! You have to do at minimum 15,” she states. “We experienced to transfer toward much more entrance-conclusion off-the-shelf cakes that can rapidly be inscribed with a name whilst a consumer waits. This is the effect Instagram experienced on our business enterprise.”

Conquering obstacles

Majekodunmi experienced to prevail over a deficiency of self esteem in herself and the company in the early times. “I would inform individuals what I did and they would roll their eyes,” she recalls. “There was not a great deal of aid and I experienced to pull myself by that.”

Together the way, external challenges also surfaced. Companies in Nigeria have to make more investments to be ready to endure off the grid. Nuts About Cakes has its personal turbines to fight the unreliable electricity source and a borehole to ensure clean up water for baking. It also pays for private safety.

The business shed 1 of its outlets to an unforeseen state government plan that dominated all retail suppliers on one avenue had to be demolished. In the very last year, the business also had to deal with the devaluation of the naira, the #EndSARS protests and subsequent curfew, and then Covid-19 and a lockdown.

“Everything can modify in the blink of an eye. When the lockdown arrived, we had to shut five shops and shift from 30% of income being deliveries to 80%. We swiftly experienced to employ impartial delivery motorists – form of a guy-in-a-van notion – and teach them. You have to be nimble and feel on your toes,” she claims.

Nuts About Cakes CEO speak to facts

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