Wole Akeju: Providing affordable finger food for Nigerians
Wole Akeju is the executive director of RedBox Deluxe Cafe by Diddies Grill, a company that provides affordable luxury finger food to consumers in Nigeria and other parts of the world. It is a full-service grill bar with head office in Gbagada, Lagos.
The bar features a full menu of moderately priced ‘comfort’ grill, but based on time-honoured recipes from around the world.
“We have been in business since February 2019, taking care of walk-in customers, online requesters, events of different capacities as well as custom orders in a minimum of 18 hours daily availability scale,” Akeju says.
The inspiration behind the business of the Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Lagos was drawn from the need to provide affordable food for the Nigerian masses.
“I started this business with N4 million, which I borrowed from other arms of my business. And since then, the food business has experienced exponential growth,” he says.
Before his food business, he had been a seasoned IT professionally involved in web app developments, thus applying IT on other fields of endeavours, such as music and talent management
There are a lot of street food vendors in Nigeria but for Akeju, his business prides itself with uncommon luxury service, taste and delivery. Like they say, every business has its challenges. “The major one for us is unstable prices of our supplies and the government shutdown of the borders. But in a good way, the shutdown has helped boost internal agricultural growth and development which forces us to be creative with the production,” he says.
“But the government should help reduce these challenges by boosting agricultural pre- and post-productions to make available more supplies. It should also ensure that loans really get to micro businesses of this nature serving multiple units of the economy,” he notes.
Akeju, whose life values have taught him to be the best by providing people-oriented solutions, did a couple of trainings in food business in New York, USA. He also has a chain of other business which are Reitigh G. Nigeria Limited, the company behind many travel booking portals, CliqueTv Africa(online Tv) and RG5Music Events & Lifestyle company which manages Dj Consequence, Alatika, and Mc lively, among others.
Currently, his outlet at Gbagada has a total of eight staff members with opportunities for ad hoc engagements during massive event functions. Apart from the outlet at Gbagada, he is currently planning to expand by opening additional four stores in Nigeria which will employ over 32 staff members.
“I have plans to expand to other locations in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, continuously improve on delivery by dispatch via our sister company Diddies Delivery to all locations and continuously partner with online food vendors such as Jumia Foods, Opay Foods, Konga Foods and Nairabox Foods to serve their customers. I also want to partner with major events this year to give the best memories. We will flaunt our own proprietary event on a quarterly basis called ‘TheGrill X Parties’ also,” he elucidates.
Akeju, whose mentors are Richard James and Maurice James McDonald(founders of Mc Donalds worldwide), sees himself leading the finger food industry, making it affordable and accessible to the majority of people in the world.