Adedolapo Akintomide is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dollypee Diva Bellz Creations. The graduate of Pure and Applied Mathematics from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, speaks with OYEYEMI OKUNLADE on how she ventured into catering and her principles as an entrepreneur.
You studied Pure and Applied Mathematics, why the change to catering?
I started right from tertiary institution. Cooking has always been my passion so I usually cook for people. I remember the very first cake I baked about 13 years ago without anyone’s help. Though I didn’t get the accurate measurement, the cake came out real good. So I decided to go for some training in 2009 and I started the business formally in 2011.
Aside from passion, what motivates you?
I get motivated when impacting lives of everyone that comes to acquire business knowledge from me. In addition to this, I derive my business power from knowing that I am helping people.
What aspect of your business do you derive pleasure from the most?
I derive pleasure from creating new ideas or improving old ones as well as in mentoring and coaching others. I also enjoy finding a way to solve a problem or to help people overcome their challenges.
Many people are engaged in this business, what stands you out?
What actually makes my cake business unique is my level of creativity. How I mix my flavours and the fluffiness of it has actually earned me a lot of referral from my customers.
Who are your customers?
I have numerous customers, ranging from commissioners, permanent secretaries to directors of companies, bank managers. These are from Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and many other states.
Any regret for not practising your profession?
Honestly, I have no regrets because the business pays me well. It enables me to have time for myself.
What are the challenges you face in the business?
The major challenge I face is the high price of ingredients in the market which reflects on the prices of the cakes. This makes our customers to complain while some have had to cancel their orders. However, we usually talk them out of it by assuring them of getting nothing but the best.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
I see my businesses doing well and my brand name all over the world as they have really given me a lot of prestige and fame, especially my cakes.
You combine other demanding and time-consuming businesses with catering, how have you been coping?
Yes, I am also into events management and planning, makeup, etc in addition to my catering services. Though they are all time- consuming and demanding but with the help of God through my assistants and apprentices, everything seems easy.
So far, how many people have you trained and what are their categories?
By God’s grace, I have trained over 40 people and they are doing well in their choice business. Some are now professional cake decorators, bakers, professional make-up artists and the likes. The 40 people include: young and old, married and singles, graduates and undergraduates and secondary school students.
Your happiest moment so far?
My happiest moment so far waswhen my business began to blossom and made impact in people’s lives.
Principles that have helped you as an entrepreneur…
Being a successful entrepreneur, in my opinion, is a function of how you deal with setbacks, defining your personal goals and purpose early and focusing on your strength rather than fixing weaknesses. Don’t stop believing, learning and growing as an entrepreneur.