Uzo Ume (Uzoamaka Ume) was born in Nigeria and raised in California.She worked in a number of restaurants in the US. from her high school days holding various positions till she became a General Manager at Chick Fil. She moved back to Nigeria, because she saw an opportunity to introduce Nigerians to Mexican food she ate growing up.
Podcast Key Notes
Can you pleases introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
I came back to Nigeria in 2014 and I started working for a firm in Marina Lagos called DFD and I was in charge of branding and communication. I spent 6 months in the country working there but the 6 months there made me realize that I miss being in a restaurant; miss interacting with customers so, I went back to the States in 2015 and that was when I worked as a restaurant GM. So I spent my last 2yrs wondering what else to do now, but then the 6 months in Nigeria showed me the opportunity in food business in Nigeria.
What is your business structure?
Basically the brand is in 3 categories – we do pop ups, delivery and catering. Delivery is quite big for us, but we focus more on Pop Ups.
Can you describe your typical work day?
When I wake up at 5:00 am I get my mind right through meditation; write my duties down ideally then, I get to the kitchen early lets say 7 O’clock. My team comes in around 8:30 and 9:00 am and they join me to get everything ready then we head out to our pop up in V.I.
Can you give us the most challenging experiences you have had?
I think honestly the most challenging thing in Lagos here is logistics.
What has been your worst entrepreneurial moment?
Recently I was invited to do something together with a restaurant and I got there and we set up in the kitchen. Not long the executive chef who is not Nigerian came in and apparently there was a miscommunication issue , he kicked me out of the kitchen not once but twice and also made some derogatory remarks. That was one of the days that challenged my core values.
How do you treat recipes and intellectual properties?
There have been a lot of things that I personally make. But my recipes are streamlined. So I created software for my team and they can just follow the process.
What piece of business advice would you give someone starting up?
You have to have a higher calling (passion) to go into food business.
What advice would you give your young self?
Screw the noise… I mean don’t get carried away with what people are saying. Don’t listen to the noise of somebody who’s done it or not. It can be done, just go ahead and execute on it.
One thing about you people don’t really know?
I guess people in Nigeria don’t know that I have a twin brother.
The hard thing about hard things
You have to have a higher calling (passion) to go into food business
Food business – It can be done, just go ahead and execute on it
Don’t get carried away with what people are saying
Most challenging thing about food business in Lagos is logistics and customer retention
To know more about El Padrino visit: http://www.elpadrino.ng