It is impressive to see women starring the wheels of success and most importantly serving as pioneers of new ideas. Today, one of such notable women is Femi Oyedipe, an amazing young talented woman who is making a giant stride in her home country Nigeria through her unique business choice, making of world-class chocolate known LoshesChocolate.
- Full Name: Olufemi Oyedipe
- Course of study: Biochemistry
- Institution: University of Ibadan, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Legnano, Italy (certifications in the Art of Bean to Bar processing of Chocolates)
- Company: LoshesChocolate
Oyedipe did not rise to the top overnight, it took years of hard work and consistency to build the network and acquire needed resources to become the CEO of an indigenous company known for transforming local products i.e. cocoa into well-refined healthy chocolate.
It is motivating that while a majority of Nigerian youths are seeking white-collar jobs, other young Nigerians like Oyedipe are utilizing the available gap to create wealth and become employers of labour.
Oyedipe’s entrepreneurial journey began after she completed her undergraduate studies in 2005 at the prestigious University of Ibadan in Nigeria.
She demonstrated a passion for artistry which she has shown the world through the varieties of chocolate bars produced in her company.
Her love for design and artistry pushed her into makeup artistry as she was trained by a famous UK brand and did make up for brides during the weekends.
She didn’t jump into chocolate production initially, but like most Nigerian youth, she began her career journey with a 9-5 working job.
Having trained as a makeup artist, Oyedipe at one time began to distribute top brand make-up products, however, she felt she could do more.
Her entrepreneurial journey took a twist when she enrolled for her Master’s degree program in Scotland major in Human Resource Management. She then moved to Ghana upon the completion of the program.
While in Ghana, she worked as a volunteer and it was there she developed a passion for baking and cooking. In fact, during her leisure time, she baked cupcakes, cakes frosted with chocolate ganache and other desert flavours for friends and family.
Fortunately for her, this was the spark that began her journey into the world of chocolate production. From serving friends and family, the passion soon blossomed to cater for a wider community of dessert lovers.
This was the encouragement she needed, an eye-opener to a business opportunity which she took advantage of and in turn her business Creme Indulgence was birthed. From preparing desserts for family and friends and a handful of dessert lovers, Oyedipe began to create desserts for special occasions.
How LoshesChocolate Was Birthed
The story of Femi Oyedipe rising to the top by creating an indigenous company known to transform cocoa into fine chummy and munchy chocolates is captivating.
Her passion for chocolate making began while in Ghana where she made dessert for friends and family. When she and her family moved back to Nigeria, with her master degree qualification, she got a job as a human resource manager.
She worked on the job for a couple of years and during the period she was searching for more having had a taste of what it feels like to make your passion your living back in Ghana.
Thanks to her husband who observed her craving for more and the need to satisfy her yearning, he admonished her to go back into making chocolates. It was a thoughtful idea and after a while, she bought into it.
With her intense search to satisfy her urge for artistry and designs, as well as ways to add impact in our society, she researched on how to create value alongside making chocolates.”
Her Passion To Transforming Cocoa Sector in Nigeria
It was during her research that she found out that Nigeria has no indigenous chocolate even though the country is one of the highest producers of cocoa, the raw material used in making chocolates.
Also, this opened her eyes to the fact that cocoa production is exported while chocolates are then imported, with this knowledge, she in partnership with her husband conducted more research, this time it was on how to begin sourcing cocoa beans locally.
According to her, they bought their first bag of cocoa beans from Eruwa in Oyo State. Presently, they also purchase cocoa beans from Ondo state.
The Beginning of LoshesChocolate
The beginning of every business is not often smooth because a lot of logistics and resources need to be put in place, the same story is told during the beginning phase of LoshesChocolate.
Oyedipe made it known that the first chocolate produced from the first cocoa beans bag purchased was not sold at all, rather it was used as an experiment to understand and determine the science behind chocolate making.
The first chocolate product made was given to people and in return, they asked for their feedback and opinion. With the feedback response, she got better at making chocolates.
The chocolate making process began in her guest room and she still maintained her day job as an HR personnel which was tedious for her to focus on both, coupled with the fact that she is a wife and a mother.
Eventually, Oyedipe had to quit her job because she was not been productive doing different things at the same time. She left her day job to focus on her business full-time.
With one job off-hand, she devoted her time to her chocolate-making business. Interestingly, she maximized the use of social media platforms to promote her business and emphasized feedbacks from her clients to improve on her product.
She made it known that her first customers were gotten on social media.
The New Phase of LoshesChocolate
With hard work and dedication, LoshesChocolate has evolved in terms of taste, quality, and daily production. The company is becoming a household name in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, it’s penetrating other states across Nigeria.
According to Oyedipe, the company is interested in exploring other options in the chocolate making business to expand its horizon. Most importantly, the aim is to make Nigeria one of the chocolate producing countries in the world.
Oluwafemi Oyedipe is happily married and a proud mother.
The road that leads to success is not always smooth, but those who strife to the end become victorious. Pioneering a chocolate company in Nigeria is tasking and challenging, yet Oyedipe’s LoshesChocolate continues to penetrate the African market.
Her relentless act and thirst for success have culminated into a new phase for the Nigerian production industry and big kudos to her for producing indigenous chocolates and aiming to put the country on the list of major chocolate producing nations.
She had featured on several SME fora and workshops, one of them is Fidelity SME Forum.
- By LoshesChocolate Facebook Page