• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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How Akin Monehin’s business strategies transformed his wife’s Agege bread business, raising $2m funding in two years

How Akin Monehin’s business strategies transformed his wife’s Agege bread business, raising $2m funding in two years

Akin Monehin is an entrepreneur and a Business Transformation Manager at Shell. He is the husband to Omowumi Monehin, an attorney at law and Co-Founder of Wumi’s Bakery and Bistro. They both relocated to Qatar and are blessed with two sons whose love for bread waned as the quality of what was available in the market declined following the 5th June 2017 unjust blockade of Qatar.

Akin and his wife decided to prioritise his career, and this made her unable to hold down a job as they relocated frequently.

After the blockade in Qatar, Bread started disappearing from the Monehins’ breakfast menu as their children did not like the taste of what was available after the blockade. Their older son has a dietary requirement and often reacts to chemicals and preservatives. Options from the stores were thinning out, so Omowumi watched hundreds of YouTube videos on “How to make healthy bread at home”, and in September 2017, she kicked off her baking experiment by providing her children with healthy, premium quality, preservative-free, chemical-free bread. She also made healthy pastry-based lunch packs for school.

Read also: Meet Omowumi Monehin, the baker bridging cultures with Agege bread in Qatar

Discussions with other parents at her children’s schools showed that many parents were in similar shoes. Within a few weeks, Omowumi started receiving requests like, “my family would be grateful if you can please bake an extra sausage roll for our children; we are happy to pay for it”.This encouraged her to continue providing lunch packs for kids and a healthy pastry for family meals and events and soon after, Wumi’s Bakery was birthed.

Orders increased by word of mouth, from neighbours, family, and friends, and within a few months, she became overwhelmed with orders – her kitchen was too small. Soon, leading coffee shops in Doha and AL Khor started contacting her for bake supply contracts.

Read also: 5 Countries with the world’s healthiest diets

Akin Monehin said he had to pause his social media activities to focus on his wife’s bread business by balancing his day job in corporate transformation with evenings and weekends dedicated to scaling the business. He said that he never anticipated how this side hustle would expand, noting that his wife’s passion to solve a problem she identified has now grown into a thriving enterprise with her over 100 products in about 400 outlets across Qatar, turning a high-quality product into a national success story.

A few days ago, Akin made a post on LinkedIn concerning his wife’s bread business. He said, “Two years ago, I decided to refocus, using all my spare time, outside work, on a new entrepreneurial challenge—scaling my wife’s business, leveraging my 20+ years of experience in communication, strategy, planning, commercial leadership & business transformation while applying LEAN and Agile methodologies.

“We had decided to prioritise my career, therefore, she has been unable to hold down a job as we relocated frequently since I focused on gathering strategic experiences irrespective of the location. She now wanted to take her home business to the next level. She wanted it on the shelves. Little did I know, that decision would lead to some of the most rewarding & transformative experiences of my life, so far.”

“Anyway I am back on this platform, and will be sharing my experiences not from someone who has worked for/working for international organisations including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic or Shell. Not as one who schooled in University of Lagos, University of Dundee or The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. But as someone who has applied business principles to make success of a business, starting from scratch.”

Before Akin decided to actively support his wife’s venture, he said he remembered her looking into his eyes 2 years ago and saying firmly, “See, I cannot have a Business Transformation Manager in this house and be struggling with my business – no way!”. He knew it was going to be challenging so he decided to invest his evenings and weekends.

He noted that they successfully raised over $2 million in startup funding and with no paid advertisements or renting of shelves or promotions, they scaled distribution operations to 400 outlets across Qatar, acquiring the “Qatar National Product” status. He also acknowledged that they obtained certifications, proving their commitment to quality and safety.

Wumi’s Bakery is part of the “Doha Bistro Group” and houses a bakery, a bistro,a coffee shop, and also provides a Barbeque & catering service, located in Fereej Al Soudan and has an outlet in Abu Hammour, both in the metropolitan Doha.