Boasting of several countries with the fastest growing global economies, the Sub-Saharan African region is a vast business ecosystem, with gems hidden under rough terrains.
The food industry is one of the booming industries that holds great potential in Africa but over the years, African food have been kept on the sidelines globally with most restaurants dominating their menu with cuisines from different continents.
These entrepreneurs through their platforms have been committed to promoting the rich cultures and cuisine diversity which solely belongs to the African community to the world at large.
Amongst these people doing such great work we’ll be having a look at the top 8 which seems to be making good progress with their brands.
Let’s have a look at a couple of them below;
1) Jennifer Bash
Jennifer Bash’s outlook on entrepreneurship shows that she is a firm believer of problem resolution before making profit. “Tanzania, like most African countries, is blessed with an abundance of food and natural resources, but not enough businesses to process and package those consumer goods so most of the products that could easily be sold in Tanzania were imported. We had eggs coming from the UAE and the UK, not because we did not have eggs in Tanzania, it is because the eggs we had were sold locally without being packaged and branded,” says Jennifer Bash, the co-founder and CEO of Alaska Tanzania Industries Limited. Living in the US exposed Bash to how food and other commodities are packaged and branded for sale in supermarkets. Today the company’s team of 25 processes packages and distributes a range of products, including eggs, rice, maize flour and sunflower oil to local supermarkets and big international retailers.
2) MensCook Ghana
Following the popular saying, “what men can do, women can do better” but Menscook Ghana is doing what women and bossing at it. Menscook is an all-male catering and private dining company that is winning the hearts of Ghanaians through their cooking and dancing. Chef Dave Compound a former Golden Tulip Hotel chef is the leader of this all-male team and they are raising the bar on culinary services in Ghana every day. They are a stylish team of caterers who spices up events with their stylish dressing. Imagine going to an event and see male cooks all dressed up in “kente” serving foods. Aside from creating amazing food content on their social media platforms. The team is made up of caterers, servers, waiting staff among other, who professionally deliver to the needs of clients at any event they go to.
They also have a large Instagram following where they publish amazing videos of them which goes viral from time to time.
3) Loïc Dablé
The Franco-Ivorian, 32-year-old chef and owner of Cafe Dapper at the Musée Dapper, an African art restaurant, in Paris, France was a former juror of the Pan-African culinary show “Star Chef”. Dablé has observed evolution and changes in the style of cooking in his home country. But what he is vehemently against is the type of seasoning being used lately hence he promotes the use of home-grown products. This shows that his contemporary culinary skills pay tribute to the ancient treasures of African gastronomy and its local products. Dablé is also the co-founder of the Karmelle & Loïc Dablé Foundation, a Nonprofit Organization working to reduce unemployment among the youth and women as well as illegal migration through Pan-African food empowerment. Dablé will not follow the footsteps of his elders so his rebellion will allow him to thrive with creativity and originality.
4) Monica Musonda
It was Monica Musonda’s experience as an employee of Dangote Group – a Nigerian multinational founded by one of Africa’s richest men, Aliko Dangote – that inspired her to take the plunge, quit her job and start Zambia-based Java Foods. She frequently accompanied Dangote on business trips and recalls that when they visited Zambia, he would ask: ‘Where are the Zambian businessmen? Why aren’t there more, and why are they not taking up the opportunities? Before starting Java Foods, Monica Musonda worked at a Dangote Group, a Nigerian multinational company founded by Aliko Dangote, one of Africa’s richest men. The success story of Dangote inspired her to take her own career path and tried her luck. Soon she quit her job at the company and established Java Foods in Zambia. When she was still serving at Dangote Group, she used to accompany Dangote on business trips. She remembered one saying from the men asking about why there were not so many Zambian businessmen and why didn’t take up the opportunities. His remarks have encouraged her to start her own business journey as a Zambian entrepreneur.
5) Kevin Eze
‘‘African food and cuisines are not popular on the world stage because they have not been given the recognition that they deserve’’ says Kevin Eze, a 26-year-old Nigerian food entrepreneur and initiator of the African Food Network. It is an online African food recipe directory and currently one of the biggest in the world which focuses on promoting African recipes, and also seeking to change the narrative. African Food Network is an online African recipe directory with recipes sourced from different authors and chefs within Africa and beyond, with the sole aim of positively promoting our cuisines to the global community. The concept behind it is to fill in the information gap of African food online and fix the poorly publicized image of African cuisines to the world. As he says “As Africans we have been brainwashed over the years not to appreciate our rich culture and heritage, whilst the rest of the world appreciate theirs, we have a long way to go in fixing the world’s view on African food and that’s what we plan to do with African Food Network” .
6) Christelle Vougo-Anet
She is the co-founder of three of the most luxurious restaurants in the city of Abidjan with her husband and partner Frank Anet. The Ivorian, who is always ready to dare new flavours, brings originality to the table when designing dishes. “I think I understand the science behind cooking. And I do not have a comfort zone, I am open to all cultures and all ingredients. From caviar to caviar, the pleasure is the same when it comes to highlighting certain ingredients,” she said. Vougo, who moved from waitress to manager after more than 15 years in the United States, has won several awards including Restaurant of the Year at the Abidjan Restaurant Awards, Best Service and Best African Restaurant.
7) Ronke Edoho
If you follow Nigerian blogs very well you should know her off her popular books “Lose It Nigerian”, she owns 9jafoodie blog and work as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) during the day, certified Nutritionist and Clinical Weight Loss specialist. She has been listed as amongst the most influential food bloggers in Nigeria and her website has hundreds of thousands of fans on social media with thousands of daily visitors on her website. Her recipes has inspired a lot of people within the continent and beyond to try out African cuisines which she seems to do a great job at through her website.
8) Kirk Wardy
Kirk Wardy is the founder of The LaRue Group, based in Philadelphia, The LaRue Group is a one stop shop for minorities in the world of culinary, beverage, and hospitality. With their goal to include minority chefs, product producers and hospitality professionals into the global conversation. Kirk is quickly becoming the go-to representative for minority chefs in the culinary world especially in the black community. Creating a platform for recognition, brand and marketing coaching, and connecting top culinary talent with those seeking an experience in taste they have never had before, The LaRue Group is the source for the latest in trends, products, services, recipes, classes, and so much more as it pertains to minorities.