Business startup stories are as varied as the backgrounds and lives of the founders whose entrepreneurial journeys they recount. The really interesting ones draw us in with their anecdotes and inspire us with the victories they speak of.
But in the end, it’s the problems they help to solve that makes them truly stand out. It’s what keeps these burgeoning businesses alive, and lets them have a place in the minds and hearts of their customers. These stories are worth telling because the brands they’re about are adding value to people’s lives.
Shola Makinde Usman probably has a story that belongs in this category. Her university days were filled with time-sapping activity, as it was for other undergraduates and lecturers at her alma mater. This meant that they usually couldn’t make their own meals; and when they could, the ingredients weren’t close enough to be purchased without burning precious time.
Shola’s attempts at solving this problem led her to set up Abebi Farm Fresh Plus, a farm produce and processed food supplier. The microenterprise kicked off by delivering fresh farm produce to the doorsteps of members of the university community.
Abebi Farm Fresh Plus has since expanded its operations. From its beginnings in 2005, it has grown into a fairly well known agricultural product supplier. It now has countrywide reach; its products are sourced from farms across Nigeria and dispatched to homes, hotels and restaurants in several towns and cities.
Besides its dealings with eateries and hotels, Abebi Farm continues to cater for the food needs of individuals who are pressed for time. Working people can have their foodstuff shipped to them straight from the farms in which they’re grown, and save themselves the time and extra money they would usually spend on produce at retail stores.
Products delivered by Abebi Farm include grains, fruits and vegetables, yams, poultry, seafood, and oil. It also supplies plantain, flour and garri. These products are sold in tons, large bulks and smaller quantities, in accordance with clients’ demands. The company also takes orders for soup bundles and customized fruit baskets.
The strength of the Abebi Farm Fresh Plus brand is seen in the service it delivers, and the appreciation of its customers for the work it does. This partly accounts for its being selected as one of Connect Nigeria’s Top 100 Emerging SMEs, a list of upcoming businesses compiled by ConnectNigeria in association with Union Bank.
Shola says her company is currently building an app that should help its services even more accessible. She’s hoping that the forthcoming Abebi e-commerce app will be “a one-stop shop for all farm or food products.” At the moment, she’s bent on expanding the business even further. She has the global food market in her sights and says the company is open to orders from beyond Nigeria’s shores. Shola certainly thinks the Abebi app should help this cause.
Abebi Farm Fresh Plus can be reached via email; you can send your inquiries to abebiolojewa[@]gmail.com.