Don’t despise little beginnings, entrepreneurs urge start-ups

The Annual Food Exhibition and sales event also called GTBank Food and Drink Festival aimed at  projecting the diverse angles of the food industry by connecting various businesses involved in the production and sales of food-related items to a cosmopolitan audience of food enthusiasts held recently in Lagos.

Apart from the exhibition, professional chefs from all walks of life  were on ground to share their experiences with  their colleagues in the food industry as well as  food enthusiasts.

Speaking on the topic: Blogging and Burgers: From Street Food to Global Cuisine, Tom Reaney urged entrepreneurs not to despise little beginnings in starting up a business.

Reaney said that his affection for burger propelled the setting up of Burger Bear.

He added that time and money were also crucial factors that pushed him towards starting the business.

“We started on the street seven years ago in London. We weren’t thinking too big at the time. Now, we have managed to grow with five restaurants in London. We raised 40,000 pounds in 30 days.

“For me, I love burgers. I had wanted to do something about burgers maybe because I had worked in the hospitality sector overtime.

“I also worked in an office because I wanted a break from hospitality. When my wife got pregnant and I needed more time and money, I decided to set up my own business and that’s how Burger came into being. I started on the street and from the street to a restaurant,” Reaney said.

Also speaking at one of the masterclasses, a prominent food blogger in the United Kingdom, Chris Fynes emphasised that a successful food blogger needs four ingredient; of niche, community, foundation and responsibility.

Explaining the responsibility aspect of the ingredients, Fynes said it means platform for positivity and urged prospective bloggers to invest time in editing, photography, videos and all.

He advised food bloggers to desist from fake blogging and improve the food community.

Reeling off  how he started, he said “I was born in Sandhurst, which is the opposite of Lagos in terms of population. I said to my friend let’s start a Food Blog. As you can see (pointing at the picture), I was a lot younger, slimmer. We went to meet Chef Arnold to check some of our burgers.”

The Restaurant Manager, Ice Cream Factory, Mrs. Mary Ogboru said the sales is coming up and I believe it will meet expectation since it’s the first day.

Giving an overview of the food exhibition, Mary said: “From what I have seen so far, everything is okay but they can always get better and better.

Also speaking, CEO, Semantic Foods, Mr. Abu Taoheed, said sales at the exhibition were fair as customers had been showing up.

Giving a succinct description of his product, Taoheed said that the Coconut Garri is made with flavour from real coconut and enriched with minerals and vitamins for those that love to drink garri.

Abu described the GTBANK food and drinks exhibition as a significant platform for promoting Small and Medium scale businesses and hence applauded the bank for such initiative.

“For us, we have been trying to get this event for the past three years because it is an important event for every SME

“It’s a significant platform for showcasing SME. You need 350,000 Naira to get in to Trade Fair which is not supposed to be. GTB is really doing great,” he said.

The chefs present at the exhibition included; The AJ’s Gourmet, Jamski, The Gidi Chef, El Padrino, Sao Cafe, Heels in d kitchen, and Bukka hut.