The reality is that not everyone is destined to be a successful blogger like Linda. I believe each one of us has our own individual calling from God. Sometimes what we think might be our calling might be totally different from what God has in store for us. Hence, we waste years in depression, struggling and deluding ourselves that ‘e go better’ when all we simply need to do is to ask God for direction and wisdom to know and do what he has called us to do, then follow. The story you are about to read is to highlight the goodness of God and His will in our lives. Also, to encourage people to believe in themselves.
My name is Adaeze Ikeobodozie and this is my story (A true story)…
Sometime in 2013 after Law school, I was posted to Delta State to do the “compulsory” one year Youth Service. After the three weeks Orientation Camp, I was posted to a law firm in Warri, Delta State, for my primary assignment. Due to certain health issues, I applied for redeployment to Lagos State where my doctor and family live. After one month in Warri, I got a call from the office of the NYSC State Co- ordinator in Asaba, Delta State informing me to come over and pick up my redeployment letter which had been approved. I was elated and began telling everyone who cared to listen that I was leaving for Lagos, (though I hadn’t seen my redeployment letter ) I presumed I had been redeployed to Lagos, since my application precisely stated Lagos State.
On opening my redeployment letter, I saw boldly “You have been Redeployed to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I ? Why Abuja? Hadn’t they read my application stating that I had to be in Lagos where my doctor and family were? I personally had never seen nor heard of anyone who had applied for redeployment to a particular State and was redeployed somewhere else. Why was mine different? I was livid. I had no choice but to report to Abuja because I was told if I did not go, I would have to restart the youth service all over again. Mba o! I packed my things and left for Abuja with the mind-set that once I register there I would apply again for redeployment to Lagos.
The frustration and stress I experienced at the NYSC Secretariat, Abuja was on a whole new level. Everything went wrong. At that point, I gave up the thought of redeploying to Lagos State, as it was becoming clear that a higher force wanted me in Abuja. I immediately stopped the “I have to be in Lagos fight” and accepted Abuja. I was really sad. I remember praying to God for His will to be done. I told myself that once the service year was over I would run back to Lagos. The countdown began (if only I knew). I was posted to a law firm in Maitama around Aguiyi Ironsi Street for my primary assignment. People who are familiar with this area know there are over 20 corporate organizations in this vicinity. One fateful day, during the course of my service year, while working at the office I began craving ‘small chops’ (small chops is a small meal comprising of samosa, spring rolls, chicken, peppered gizzard, puff-puff etc, all packed together in a takeaway pack). I kept wondering where and how I could buy and get it delivered straight to my office without going far.
It was at that moment after failing to find any company in that vicinity that sold small chops, I thought to myself, “hmmm, this would be a good business to delve into considering there were over 20 Corporate Organizations in the area and no one was selling Small Chops and doing delivery”. I figured if the food was good, people would naturally patronize someone closer than go far. As a “confirm” Igbo Anambra girl, the idea stuck. I commenced my research and put up a business plan. This included the food preparation process, direct delivery to any customer and catering to small/medium/large events.
After roaming the streets of Maitama for several weeks, I was able to secure a small space in a Parking Lot off Aguiyi Ironsi, Maitama. It was more like a funky “mamaput ” setting. It was perfect for me, the rent was affordable. I guess I was very realistic about what I was looking for because I knew there was no way I could afford a proper shop in a place like Maitama at the time.
I put together my monthly stipend (allowee) and executed my business plan with the sum of N100, 000. A small Freezer was the biggest thing I purchased. With faith, I employed two staff and designed a “cheap” flyer. I went from office to office, distributing and talking about what we had to offer. Thankfully, most people I told bought into the idea. The orders started (via phone calls and people coming directly to our stand) and that was how my business took off. It came with a lot of challenges. Delivering on time was a major challenge and many other challenges. I thank God though, we are learning the ropes and curves.
As the business grew, I was able to buy a Motorcycle solely used for deliveries that couldn’t be delivered on foot. A lot of our customers requested we add garnished indomie noodles, rice and chips to the menu. I did a little survey and realized a lot of customers were asking for more on the menu. Sharply, we added them so long as it was making us money and people were buying.What started out as a ‘Small Chops’ business has gone up to become a full blown fast food restaurant today.
They demanded more, we gave more.
Here is a little of what we do. 4Every Refreshment Restaurant offers diverse food styles, offering street food with style, local and continental dishes. Our street food includes roasted plantain (bole), roasted yam and fish, roasted chicken, roasted corn with coconut and pear, garri soaking (Kokogarri 100grm sachet ), hot puffpuff, glazed puffpuff, Masa, Zobo, Kunu aya and more. Our Local and Continental dishes include: garnished noodles, chips and egg/chicken, jollof rice, fried rice, white rice, ofada, shrimps sauce, salad, everything swallow & soups, spaghetti in sausages, grilled chicken, chicken balls, beans, asun, ewagonyi, and more. We also have a juice and shawarma bar.
Taking things further, we are also in partnership with a great company called EverythingbutCoffee Ltd that specializes in making the best coffee – latte, cappuccino including tea, hot chocolates with cream and delicious pastries.
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the thought I think towards you, thoughts of good, to give you an expected end‘. I dreaded the thought of going to Abuja and fought hard to leave Abuja not knowing God had better plans for me in Abuja. Sometimes I wonder if I had redeployed to Lagos would I have gotten this far? I honestly doubt that.
I am grateful to Mr Omale aka Papi as we fondly call him who is in charge of the Parking Lot, who secured a place for me. I am so thankful. We have opened a branch of our Restaurant at 46 Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse ll, Abuja beside HMedix and Studio 24. It is bigger and wider. We still retain our Restaurant at 433 Zambezi crescent parking lot, Maitama beside Gtbank and Etf.
In everything you do, always pray for the will of God to be done.
Never force what seems not to be yours, the sign is usually there. If it’s yours it will surely come to you.
You do not necessarily have to have a lot of money to start up a business.
Learn to grow like I did and be realistic about your goals.
Do not worry about what people would say.
Time waits for no one. Learn to seize every opportunity you have; I seized the opportunity. As a lawyer, I didn’t “mind” it was not my field. I learnt how to make it my field and became great at it.
For comments, questions on starting up a business especially on a shoestring budget, my challenges and progression. Feel free to drop me a word or two via:
Instagram: @4everyrefreshment | Twitter: @4everyrefresh | Facebook: facebook.com/4everyrefreshment/ | Website: www.4everyrefreshment.com
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