• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Meet the Olaleye sisters spreading the gospel of Puff-Puff ministry in the UK

Meet the Olaleye sisters spreading the gospel of Puff-Puff ministry in the UK

Puff puff, a beloved roadside delight from the heart of Nigeria, has earned global attention, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Olaleye sisters. When the Olaleye sisters, Marianne, Fola, Yossie, and Lola, moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 to advance their education, they brought with them the rich culinary heritage of their home country.

Having spent their childhood in their mother’s baking business in Lagos, Nigeria, the sisters drew inspiration from their family’s baking legacy to introduce the joy of puff puff to the UK. In August 2020, Puff Puff Ministry was officially launched, marking the UK’s first dedicated West African dessert business.

Armed with their mother’s cherished 20-year-old recipe, the sisters set out on a mission to share the delight of West African food while making puff puff Britain’s next favorite dessert. Their journey began with a small Instagram page showcasing their irresistible puff puff. The warm reception and positive feedback from their first attempts encouraged them to officially launch Puff Puff Ministry.

This launch, however, turned out to be just the beginning. Puff Puff Ministry quickly gained popularity, with interest pouring in from both near and far. What was initially limited to supplying puff puff in North London on Saturdays soon expanded to meet the +and Peloton.

The sisters’ commitment to quality and innovation shone through in their diverse array of toppings, including options specifically catering to vegan preferences. From classic choices like Plain and Cinnamon Sugar to more indulgent picks like Oreo Chocolate Drizzle and Biscoff, customers also have the option to build their own box – adding a personal touch to their puff puff experience.

In 2022, their dedication to their craft and business acumen earned them a spot as finalists for the Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year. This recognition further solidified their place in the dessert industry, showcasing their determination and drive. However, it was in 2024 that they were presented with the opportunity to pitch to Aldi supermarket. Initially hesitant, the sisters eventually took the chance, recognizing the potential to introduce puff puff to a larger audience outside their current reach. Though the partnership with Aldi didn’t materialize as they made it to the final two, the experience was a testament to their commitment to sharing Nigerian flavors on a national stage.

Beyond their business endeavors, the Olaleye sisters are passionate about sharing their expertise. Through Puff Puff masterclasses, they offer live demonstrations, ensuring puffpuff lovers can replicate the authentic taste of Nigeria in their own kitchens.

Individually, each sister brings a unique skill set to the table. The eldest, Marianne, is an award-winning photographer and brand strategist. Fola, an urban planning specialist, bridges the gap between urban planning, technology, and innovation. Yossie, a communication advisor to executives, and Lola, a qualitative researcher with HR experience, round out the team’s skillset.

Puff Puff Ministry is not just a business – it is a celebration of tradition, family, and the rich culinary heritage of West Africa. Through their dedication, creativity, and a shared love for their craft, the Olaleye sisters have not only brought the joy of puff puff to countless individuals across the UK but have also made an enduring impact on the global culinary scene.