Founder Thrive, Lekki
18B Emma Abimbola Cole Street (Fola Osibo), Lekki Phase 1
@eatlivethrive.co / +2348029692554
Meet Bolanile, the lady who took it upon herself to introduce ALKALINE diets to Lagosians and started an online vegan community where people exchange views on healthy nutrition.
Can you pleases introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
my name is Bolanile.
I studied Marketing and International Business in the US. After college, I worked in Tech companies like Google and Uber. I was one of Uber’s first employee in Nigeria. In addition to marketing consultancy, I am also a health and nutrition coach. I took a 1 yr course and I am now a certified health and nutrition coach.
My work with healthy nutrition started 3 years ago when I decided to change my lifestyle and get serious about my health. My journey to become a conscious eater started then, I wanted to take care of the body I live in. I also realized there were people interested in this lifestyle but were not sure how to get the information.
I decided to be like an evangelist of this way of life. At first, I started an online vegan community where people exchange views on healthy nutrition. We did frequent meet ups and social hang out.
I do this full time and I still consult for companies. I quit my paid job in 2016, since then I have been consulting for startups and businesses needing rebranding.
Starting days for business including funding?
So, starting up for me was as a result of my new found lifestyle. I use to be an omnivore, eating anything until I asked myself how to define what living healthy was, so I had to start researching about what makes one stay healthier, so I found out that for the body to feel alright, I need minerals and vitamins. From then I started replacing my meals with vegetables and fruits. I follow the teachings of Dr Sebi it’s a strict Alkaline based diet. And that’s what I offer in my restaurant now.
I started the business with my savings and we opened this space march 2018
When did your aha moment come that you thought ‘I can do this’ …?
The restaurant came out of a demand for Vegan foods, I remember 2017, I got some social influencers like Bizzle to go Vegan for a day, I got so much enquiries on where to get vegan food that it made sense to open this restaurant.
Can you describe your typical work day?
I spend a lot of time researching and engaging people in this community on this lifestyle choice and maintaining an alkaline diet.
What is the target market like?
So the business has been progressively growing we have more people who are health conscious and willing to try this lifestyle. In some cases there are other vanity goals and they temporarily try the ALKALINE diet till they reach their goals.
I believe in a short time Nigerians will catch up. Since I opened this place, I have met many vegans in different demographics excited about the product we are offering, and since we also have other products like smoothies, our products cuts across to not just customers with a strict vegan diet.
Where do you see your brand in 5yrs/10yrs?
I want to take my brand global. Expanding the brand by being in multiple locations and providing more detox diet options that will solve particular problem. We could target products for more serious health issues.
Can you give us the most challenging experiences you have had?
Most challenging experience will be educating and changing perspective and perception of clients to this plant based lifestyle. It is a heavy commitment with excellent results but, Alkaline diet strictly limits your food choices.
Sourcing alkaline ingredients is another challenge, we have some items like hemp seeds we always import but I am exploring better sourcing in Nigeria to see alternative products we can put on our menu.
What is the worst entrepreneurial moment you ever had and how did you recover?
I take on so many things at a time and sometimes I get overwhelmed. I’m always caught in-between too many tasks and that overwhelming feeling can be worse. But I am taking it easy now.
How do you treat recipes and intellectual properties?
I train my staff to prepare everything on the menu, there will be occasionally things I make by myself.
What piece of business advice would you give someone starting up?
For businesses like ours, online presence is key; optimizing your brand and yourself is vital and consider your location and the ambience.
Do your best to be more discoverable.
What advice would you give your young self?
Wow… advice to my young-self would be to take things more seriously. Be more aware of your lifestyle in time.
Books and Resource Recommend :
Vegucation Over Medication by Dr. Bobby J. Price
Eat to live not to die – inspired by Dr. Sebi
An Introduction to Veganism and Agricultural Globalism by Omowale Adewale
- For businesses like food services, online presence is key;
- Optimizing your brand and yourself is vital in business
- Consider your location and the ambience of the place
- Do your best to be more discoverable
- Take your business more seriously
- Be more aware of your lifestyle in time.