Tosin Aiyegbeni, a graduate of Management Economics from Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State is a musician and the owner of an upscale restaurant, Vintage Mirrors. In this interview by OLAWALE OLANIYAN, the daughter of the late popular hotelier, Francis Ayegbeni, speaks about her experience as a back-up singer for her late dad and why she opened a restaurant. Excerpts.
Tell us about the idea behind Vintage Mirrors. What inspired such a name?
It all started from the days of D’Rovans. I would say I went into catering services because of the experience I had working with my dad. I used to work at the hotel, and I saw the inspiration behind food and running of the hotel generally. I saw the zeal my father had for his job as a hotelier. That was what really inspired me to go into catering. I was in charge of the kitchen and restaurant back then, so I felt in order not to waste the experience I was able to gather then, I should do something along that line. That was how ‘Vintage’ Mirrors came into existence. I chose the name Vintage because it depicts being the best of its kind. It is something unique, something that is different from every other thing. The taste of our food, service delivery, the serene environment show that everything we do here is different from the norm. While ‘Mirrors’ in our name means the outlook. There is no one that looks into the mirror and wouldn’t want a second glance; it reflects your image. That is where the idea of Vintage Mirrors came from.
So, what differentiates Vintage Mirrors from other restaurants?
The taste and excellent service delivery. We have tasked ourselves right from the onset to be the best. The aim is to change the narratives as far as restaurant business is concerned. We are not just out to run a restaurant for the sake of running it. We want to be sure that people eat good food and get value for their money. Good customer relations and excellent service delivery are our main focus.
Has being the daughter of the late Chief Francis Aiyegbeni helped you in any way?
It has helped me greatly. Because most people that have heard about my dad, once I mention my name, they are always ready to support and assist me in their own way, by contributing to whatever I am doing.
Tell us about the other things you do apart from running a restaurant?
I also sing. I am a high-life singer. It had always been something I had done at D’Rovans back then. I was the leader of D’Rovans band before my dad died. In fact, there are some singles that I will be dropping soon. We are presently working on them in the studio.
What was the greatest lesson you learnt from your father as a businessman?
To make the impossible possible; that was the major thing I learnt from him. That was what he used to tell us while growing up that, ‘’there is nothing impossible to do or achieve.’’ If you look at the way he built and ran D’Rovans, you will know that the brains behind the business surely had a bigger dream. The structures, organisation and all, one would not but marvel at the whole concept. That was my father. I think I have some of these traits in me too, to do things differently.
What is your plan for Vintage Mirrors in some years to come?
This is not my first eatery actually. I used to have a stand at Viewpoint I was the one managing the kitchen there. That was where I started from after D’Rovans. Of course, I am looking forward to when Vintage Mirrors will be a household name in Ibadan and beyond. And I believe soon, I mean not too long from now, we will get there by God’s grace.
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