SLA quickly caught up with Tracy and Omowunmi the founders of fast growing fresh food startup Smoothie Express. They shared with us how they developed the idea for the company, how they get around volatile currencies and the best piece of feedback they’ve ever received from a customer.
Where did the idea of Smoothie Express come from and how did you get it started?
I was trying to do a smoothie detox and my biggest challenge was finding the right time to blend my smoothies as I was still working a 9-5 then. That’s where the idea came up, I had seen a problem that was not peculiar to me alone and I wanted to solve it. So I contacted Omowunmi and we both developed a solution for the problem hence, Smoothie Express.
We first of all picked a name, Smoothie Express because we wanted to make fresh smoothies available to customers with minutes. Then we registered the company. We used our savings in starting up the company. We had to prioritize our capital expenditure because funds were limited.
Why is healthy food so important to you?
As adults, we have the tendency to go by our lives eating any piece of unhealthy food just to keep body and soul going. With lots of diseases coming up and ill health associated with being overweight, the best and easiest way to keep your health in check is to eat healthy.
Healthy food plays an important role in our health and it’s important for me to indulge as much as possible.
What is the most challenging element of running a food startup?
I would say quality control for a food start up. Customers expect nothing less than perfect food/beverage not withstanding anything, all the time.
So as a food company, you have to make sure there is quality control checks all day everyday.
How has currency fluctuation affected your business and what are you doing to creatively manage it and keep your products affordable?
We have always been a company that believes in patronizing Nigerian products. It’s been a struggle everywhere, but we have been able to manage the currency situation because of that.
Although, we are struggling with increased prices for a few items. It’s such a shame how dollar still controls our economy this much.
What is the best thing and the worst thing about having a business partner?
The best thing about having a business partner is that, there is always someone to cover your weaknesses and loops.
The worst thing about having a business partner is that you guys get to disagree a lot of times but the ability to push past it makes it worthwhile.
What is the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received from a customer?
Oh well. A couple of customers say we make the best smoothies in the world.
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