Oghenekevwe Omotosho is a graduate of computer engineering. She obtained her B.Eng at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria. She is also a creative thinker and serial entrepreneur.
Kevwe is the CEO and creative director of the unique popcorn brand – Gimme Oh Wow Popcorn & Events – makers of the popular Oh Wow! Popcorn brand. She is married with three children.
In this article, she talks about how she turned her passion for popcorn making into a business, and how she’s overcome challenges along the way.
How did you discover your passion for popcorn making?
Oh Wow Popcorn started in my kitchen. I used to make popcorn for my children and also used it to entertain guests at home. Also, I enjoyed creating new flavors of popcorn especially indigenous Nigerian flavors.
I got excited by the idea of making popcorn art and I offered the service of displaying a variety of flavors at every event, live popping or delivering to clients at their convenience.
How did the brand Oh Wow Popcorn come about?
I realized it was going to be a business for me sooner or later when I started getting positive feedback from friends and family.
I made samples and took to my children’s’ school to do a little market research and their response was encouraging. So the journey began, it has been a massive adventure since then.
Oh Wow Popcorn was formally launched on the 14th of February 2017 and to the glory of God, we have successfully weathered our fair share of what I call teething challenges. We keep on learning our lessons on this great entrepreneurial adventure and we have come out stronger and better for it.We are proud to have revolutionized the popcorn and snacks making industry in Nigeria - @ohwowpopcorn Click To Tweet
Do you run your business full time? What did you do before starting Oh Wow Popcorn?
I am a serial entrepreneur, I already had a few other businesses including Myfoodsupplies and I Sabi Work before my passion for popcorn lead me to start oh wow popcorn. I am currently running the three businesses.
Popcorn making may seem easy, but what major challenge have you encountered since launching, and how did you overcome them?
It has its own challenges. The most challenging was getting a business partner. I thought working with a partner would ease the pressure of running three businesses, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned.
I took the bull by the horn and threw myself into building my businesses by training my staff and restructuring my time.
Another key challenge we have faced is getting acceptability for our brand of popcorn which is different from what Nigerians are used to. We have however been able to overcome this challenge.
Knowing that there are many other popcorn brands in the market, how do you make sure your brand is unique and set yourself aside from the crowd?
We stand out from other brands by being original, unique and creative. Our customer service is also excellent.
What are you most proud of about the Oh Wow popcorn brand?
We are proud to have revolutionized the popcorn and snacks making industry in Nigeria.
Since inception, we’ve invented and introduced never seen before flavors like Kilishi popcorn and kulikuli popcorn into our specialized popcorn, and candy floss catering for various types of events.
We saw a great potential and are happy to fill the space, by making our clients’ events come alive in previously unimagined ways with our tasty and colorful creations.
When it comes to marketing, how far across Nigeria has your brand gone, and where can your products be found?
Although we are based in Lagos Nigeria, we receive orders from other parts of the country, such as Ibadan, Abuja, Ondo, and Benin.I took the bull by the horn and threw myself into building my businesses by training my staff and restructuring my time - @ohwowpopcorn Click To Tweet
Beyond popcorn production, what else do you do as a brand?
We also cater for candy floss, ice cream, waffles, meat pie, chinchin, zobo etc.
What is your staff strength currently, and how do you manage them?
We currently have 4 permanent staff, and we also get temporary workers when necessary. I make sure everyone knows his/her job responsibility and concentrates on doing it.
How do you manage your work-life balance, as an entrepreneur?
I delegate duties to my staff and I try as much as possible to limit my work to some specific hours of the day, especially our social media management. Immediately my children get back from school.
I concentrate on being a mother and a wife, I take them through all their assignment, eating and gist time before bed. Once they’re asleep, I round up my social media engagement for the day.
What’s the next step for Oh Wow popcorn?
The next step for oh wow popcorn is to have a presence all through key cities in the country and the world at large. We look forward to being the number 1 popcorn brand in Africa catering for all types of events.
Any advice for people with this same business idea?
I will advise you to start small, start with what you have. You may have to give a free service to showcase your work to potential clients. Your first impression can make or mar your brand
Nurture and grow your business through the early years just as you would nurture a child.
The most important tool you’ll need is your passion and drive to keep moving when the chips are down and it looks like you’re getting nowhere.
Be creative, be original, be unique.
Fill in the gap. Before the end of the year,…
I would like to have finalized all plans for the maiden edition of Oh wow popcorn day. It’s an event that would help us give back to our community. It has been scheduled for January 19th next year.