Some chefs who specialise in cooking foods for busy women on Thursday say the business is a gold-mine and generates employment for about 30 per cent of jobless female youths across the country.
The chefs said in separate interviews in Lagos that they derive joy in cooking all sorts of food for busy people and this created employment for them and others who work with them.
The trend of “buying soups” had now become common among most upwardly mobile women who hardly have time to cook because they return home late from their places of work.
Mrs Bisi Olaosebikan, who runs “Cook for Me Ventures” in Lagos said she started the business with N50,000 which she spent on utensils, adding that “I now make up to N70,000 in a week from selling soups.
“Most of my customers are busy women, especially bankers who always return home late.
“We offer delivery service to customers too, so, all they need to do is to warm the soups and make some easy foods to go with it.
“I started this business because I saw the need to assist busy women who do not have the time to stay at home and cook and I love cooking a lot. I bought some pots and gas stove for the business and now I make up to N70,000 weekly from it.’’
Another vendor, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that food vendors who specialise in making soups and other native foods for sale in Lagos could make up to
N100,000 a week, stressing that “it is a great business venture.’’
The vendor said she has outlets in Abuja and Lagos and has 10 employees each, “and I know
about 10 colleagues who do same business in both cities.’’
Miss Olashile Abayomi, who runs “Soupamarket’’, an online soup shop, said she employed young people and even graduates through her soup-making business.
Abayomi said that “the business employs a lot of people who are good in cooking, instead of searching for white-collar jobs.`’’
According to her, women and bachelors patronise her not because they don’t know how to cook, but because their jobs are demanding and cannot go to the market and do not have the time to make the meals.
She said “I have lots of unmarried men who patronise me and also married women who are too busy to cook.
“Some people tell me my business has saved their home because they hardly have time to make good food for the family, but when they order for the soups, they can just have them delivered just the way they want it.
“I believe this business is a gold mine, for anyone who loves to cook because most people are busy these days, especially women.
“We make money, but the stress of cooking is also very much, which is why most women now outsource it.
“Some people see it as a crime, but that does not apply anymore because even women are now so busy with combining their careers with caring for the home.’’
Another food vendor, Miss Funmi Obafunso who runs “Freesiafoodies’’, another online food company, said that apart from delivering real healthy foods to families, she also train
women how to cook for a fee.
According to her, most women do not have the knowledge on how to cook some traditional foods, so they prefer to order for them.
“When they come to order for food, we also encourage them to enroll for our cooking classes where we also make money from,” she said.
However, Mr Johnson Akunne, a banker, said he frowned at the new trend of making orders for cooked food outside his home.
He said that was why he discouraged his wife from continuing her banking career, so she could have more time for the home.
On the contrary, another banker, who asked to be anonymous, said he even help his wife to pick
up some of the soups she ordered from vendors.
He said there was nothing wrong in getting someone else to deliver cooked meals to the house since the husband and the wife go to work daily.
He also hope to set up cooking business for his wife too, “because I see a lot of people making
money from the business.’’
Mrs Bimbola Balogun, the co-founder of “So-Fresh Market’’ said most people like to eat healthy foods but lack the time to make them.
She said more people were now getting conscious about the quality of foods they eat, which was
why So-fresh Market was set up.
She added that “we have two outlets in Lagos already and we receive orders online. So far, it has been a good thing and people trust us to make their healthy foods like salads and smoothies.’’
Mrs Jane Iloedi, a dietician and nutrition consultant, confirmed that soup-making was now
a trend among women but advised that it should be made from trusted sources.
She then encouraged women to try to cook their own foods or instruct the food vendor to
make healthier foods that would include vegetables, fruits and fibre like beans, whole-grain foods for them.