With the festive season over, we are all back to reality. And with reality comes thoughts of what to achieve this year. These include how to start earning money, earn more money or leave our 9-5 jobs to start our own businesses. This is my list of Nigerian meals, snacks et al that are great for business. 10 of them you can do from home and only 3 you’ll need to get an outlet for. If you want to make money with Nigerian food, enjoy!
1. Nigerian Cake
We may all know how to bake a dense and moist Nigerian Cake but the design is where the money is. I cannot get enough of the creative cake designs I see online. So if you can learn how to do this, you will be a winner making cakes for income. Do you know that there are cakes that cost as much as Five Hundred Thousand Naira? Yes, that’s half a million Naira. But you know that the cake we are talking about here will definitely not look like akpu, right? 😀
When 2 people are given the same ingredients to bake a cake, the difference in the price of the finished product lies in the looks which means that what people pay for is the design and perfection. Sure it needs to taste great too. But your profit is determined by your creativity. With every John and Jane and their families making cakes these days, you need to be very good at this to stand out.
Once you can make the best cakes in Nigeria, the business will find you because your work will speak for itself and people will spread the word for you. And with social media, if you have good marketing skills, the sky is your limit! So go get your game on and open social media accounts to advertise your work and people will come. You can also send me a free cake and I will taste and advertise for you. *wink! *wink!
2. Nigerian Moi Moi
Nigerian Moi Moi is a snack and a meal at the same time. If you can set up shop in a place where lots of people come together; office complex, schools, churches etc, you will be making cool money once you can make delicious Nigerian Moi Moi. Team it with chilled drinks and you are sorted. You don’t even have to get a shop. Simply find events caterers, shops and supermarkets you can supply to on a daily basis and that’s even better. You save the money you should have used in renting the shop and you will not spend money on fuel or public transport travelling to and from your shop.
Believe it or not, a good number of people who are successful today were brought up by hardworking mothers who fried Akara balls (in the mornings and evenings) by road junctions. Some women saw all their kids through University with money made from selling Akara. So this business is a silent money maker.
I remember when I attended SSCE evening lessons in Enugu, there was this lady that fried big Akara balls a. k. a. Akara Ndi Ukwua with AVOP vegetable oil. Chai! The aroma from the Akara balls would not let us concentrate on the lectures. Usually, as soon as the first lesson was over, we would all troop to the woman’s stall and line up for the first batch. They are all gone as soon as she scoops them out of the hot oil. Some “bad” boys spent the whole 3 hours meant for the evening lessons at this lady’s stall eating Akara and toasting babes. Hehehe And what do all these patronage translate to? Money, money, money; from our pockets to the lady’s bank account.
Just make sure you know how to make the perfect Akara then find a busy road junction, a school or a business area and set up shop there. You do not have to sit outside, you can even fry it in a kitchen close to these areas then advertise and you will be the one saying, God I am tired of making money from this business!
4. Plantain chips
This is the most popular snack sold in Nigerian “go slows” (traffic). In Lagos Nigeria, it is normal to sit in traffic for 5 hours and what do we do to while away the time? We eat every edible thing that the hawkers shove in our faces. Tons of Plantain Chips are eaten in Lagos traffic every single day, not to mention the ones you can supply to supermarkets and shops. You seriously need to consider this business!
5. Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, Ofada Rice
I call these the 3 Musketeers of Nigerian parties. If you can prepare these 3 Nigerian Rice dishes to perfection, that’s a money-making events catering business right there. Throw in Nigerian Salad and you are booked till the end of next year. Gbam! One thing to know about this kind of business is that once you are good, business finds you. When people attend parties and taste a great meal, they are already thinking of how to contact the caterer for their own party and before they leave the venue they must collect the caterer’s contact information from the celebrant. And we all like to recommend great stuff so lots of people will even start recommending you before they have used your service because tasting your meal is enough to go by.
6. Nigerian Soups Service
Believe it or not, preparing Nigerian soups for other people for money is still a great money maker. You may think that with the internet overflowing with written recipes and videos of how to prepare these soups, everyone will be preparing these themselves. Wrong! You forget that some people are too busy to prepare these themselves. Just like any other skill, not everyone can master the art of cooking especially the challenging preparation of Nigerian soups. And there are still some people who do not want to learn how to prepare these so this means money for those who are ready to do it for a fee.
So make sure you know how to prepare these soups very well then prepare some, take great photos, head to social media to advertise your service and you are minted. Seriously!
7. Small Chops
In addition to the rice dishes mentioned above, small chops are the in-thing in catering. The great thing about small chops is that you don’t need a big party for a small chops business opportunity to come your way. People order small chops when they are having a small get together, a meeting, a picnic and so on. Even when people prepare the rice dishes for a party themselves, they often go to another person for the small chops because not everyone wants to get into all that stress of preparing small chops.
8. Nigerian Meat Pie
If I get 10 Naira for every email, comment or message I receive from someone that uses my Nigerian Meat Pie recipe to make and supply meat pies for money, I would be a millionaire by now. 😉 If you are in doubt about how much money can be made from selling meat pies, ask Mr Biggs! Meat Pie is their fastest selling snack. My Nigerian Meat Pie video has received more than 1 Million views on Youtube. What does that tell you about the popularity of this snack?
So if you are looking for a money making venture, hit the road and advertise your work to the shops and supermarkets near you and you will be overwhelmed with the orders coming in.
9. Nigerian Suya
Nigerian Suya Mallams have been making money from their Suya joints since time immemorial. And if you can open a Suya spot especially outside Nigeria, just name your price and Nigerians and non-Nigerians will pay. We are ever-ready to dole out some extra good-time cash for a taste of home. Once you get the Suya Pepper mix right, you are open for business. Go learn it.
10. Nigerian Suya Spice
I cannot talk about Nigerian Suya without talking about what makes those grilled fillets of beef what they are. When I released my recipe on How to make Suya Spice, I was inundated with requests from those who could not make the suya spice themselves. They wanted me to make it since I had access to the ingredients, bottle it and sell to them.
Some people are already using that recipe to make money so if you have been a LASTMA in this case, I am telling you now to take that recipe and run with it. This is especially the case if you live outside Nigeria and have a way to export the ingredients from Nigeria to where you live. Also make sure you have a heavy duty dry mill that you will use to grind this because your personal use dry mill will be fried if you attempt to use it to meet up with the orders you will be getting. Nigerians and non-Nigerians love Suya!
11. Nigerian Chin Chin
Some of you already know that I paid someone to teach me how to make the Nigerian Chin Chin whose recipe is on my website. How did I meet her? I went to visit my friend’s friend with my friend hehehe committeeoffriends.com … and I saw her there because she came to deliver the Chin Chin that my friend’s friend ordered. The Chin Chin was in cute transparent plastic bags tied with curly ribbons and I was eager to taste it. It tasted so good and as I had a conversation with her, I learnt that she makes them and delivers to her customers in their offices, shops and for parties. That was how I arranged for her to come and teach me how to make her own version of Chin Chin for a fee.
She told me that she was making good money from the business and she was no longer looking for a paid job. This happened about 5 years ago and from the way she was so focused on the goals of her business, it must have grown beyond imagination by now. I really hope it has.
12. Isi Ewu, Nkwobi, Pepper Soup
This is another way of telling you to open a restaurant and when you do, make sure you have these 3 and other Nigerian restaurant specials on your menu if you want your restaurant to be a “happening” Nigerian restaurant.
If you are in Nigeria, add a football match viewing centre by the side where you collect money for people to come and watch European league matches and you will be wondering why you have not started this business long ago. Yes, it is a brick and mortar business hence will require considerable capital to start but if managed well, you will not regret it.
13. Nigerian Okpa
I cannot end this list without talking about making money selling Okpa. I was in Lagos, Nigeria recently and one day I just craved correct Okpa Wawa. Unfortunately Nigerian fast food restaurants that now sell all the traditional orisirisi meals did not have it and I was like, this is a great business opportunity yet no one is doing it.
Okpa makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner and on top of these, it is a great snack. Okpa with chilled Coke anyone? So you will not lack customers. With the number of Igbos in Lagos, non-Igbos who have tasted Okpa and love it and the millions of people that Okpa can be introduced to, someone who starts this business in Lagos will make lots of money before it catches on. And biko, I take God beg you, if you do start an Okpa business, leave Okpa the way it is. Please do not give in to the pressure to westernize Okpa bikooo. We love it the way it is. 😀
If you know an Okpa joint in Lagos, please let me know so that I will not die of Okpa craving next time I’m in Lagos. 😀
P.S. Please note that this is not a business advice. I do not have any experience doing any of the above for money but I have seen successful businesses that are doing some of these. This blog post came about as my way of answering some food business questions that I get through my website. Hopefully this will help someone fine tune their business plans for 2016 and beyond.
Since these businesses involve edibles, please look into the laws of the country where you live before opening shop. Most countries have very strict regulations when it comes to food. Make sure you meet all of those to avoid the wrath of the law. Good Luck!
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