I got an invitation to the store launch of the Victoria Island branch of Sweet Kiwi. I met Ehime Akindele a few years ago, just before she started the business. She spoke warmly about her plans to open a store with healthy dessert options. I was certainly going to stop by the launch of her third Sweet Kiwi store.
The new Sweet Kiwi store is super cool! Great ambience, amazing staff, a warm smiling Ehime and staff as well as yummy treats! I was intrigued!
Sweet Kiwi makes for a great Friday Column wouldn’t you say?? I went ahead and had a brief interview with Ehime Akindele, the founder of Sweet kiwi.
Read all about it below.
1.Ezinne Chinkata: Please tell us a bit about the inception of Sweet Kiwi
Ehime Akindele: The idea, Sweet Kiwi was born when I visited Nigeria in 2009. I was looking for frozen yogurt and there was none available. I identified a gap in the market and started working towards building the brand.
2.Ezinne Chinkata: You are currently running 3 stores in such a short time span!! Was this part of your original business strategy? Or a clear case of trying to fulfil increasing demands.
Ehime Akindele: Our vision has always been to be Africa’s biggest frozen yogurt company. Opening new stores has always been part of the plan.
3.Ezinne Chinkata: Did you have to take a special course or you learnt on the job?
Ehime Akindele: Yes, I took a restaurant management training course and a food handlers course. I also took a frozen yogurt training class as well before I began.
4.E.C: Nigeria is a unique market. How did you tailor your business plan to suit the environment?
E.A: My business plan was way off from the actual business environment and I learnt to tailor it. I took a Certificate course in Entrepreneur Management at the Enterprise Development Centre at LBS.
5. E.C: Frozen Yoghurts are very dependent on the availability of power. What coping mechanisms did you employ to keep overheads low considering the fluctuating power supply in Nigeria.
E.A: Unfortunately, power is still our highest expense and with the present recession in the country, it has continued to increase. We try to run lean operations and cut other costs of production to help balance things out.
6. E.C: Were you apprehensive before you started Sweet Kiwi?
E.A :I was really scared to give up my major source of income and try my hand at something new. I was not sure what the reception would be. I decided to get over my fears and just try, I just thought no matter what happens at least I tried.
7. E.C: What would you say is the one decision you made that has hugely helped your entrepreneurial journey thus far?
E.A: Deciding to always live a life of service. It makes a difference in how you view people around you and their role in your journey. It helped me grow as a person and learn to collaborate and seek help outside of myself.
8. E.C: To take a loan or not? Your candid thoughts.
E.A: If you can get a loan (lol) I laughed because this is an almost impossible task. Sure you should take it as long as you have a clear plan for repayment. You need to make sure the terms are fair and you have some bargaining power.
9. E.C: Your one tip for guaranteed optimum staff performance
E.A: Training! Training! Continuous Training!
10. E.C: Has your menu diversified from the original offerings you started with?
E.A: Yes it has. We tweak it to the tastes of our guests. We innovate continuously to excite our guests. We just introduced Frozen Yogurt popsicles and Yogurt rolls to our menu.
11. E.C: Any mistakes you have learnt from and would love to share?
E.A: I learnt to plan, always research and always save.
12. E.C: Congratulations Ehime! What note would you like to end this with??
E.A: I would like to say thank you for this opportunity to tell our / my story. We turned 5 last year and we owe it all to our customers and people like you who have always supported us.
Amazing feat indeed!! Read more about Sweet Kiwi and their wide array of products by checking their website out HERE . Alternatively, you can also check their instagram page out on: @sweetkiwiyogurt.
Have a great weekend all!!!
Photo Credits: Ebenezer Dada
One thought on “THE FRIDAY COLUMN: SWEET KIWI”
I love the colors of the store and the offerings