•City People Unveils 4 Of Such Vendors
Owambe in Nigeria has taken a new dimension as there are new trends being introduced regularly. Right now, the party industry has become one of the biggest employers of labour in the country. In Lagos for example, there’s hardly a weekend without hundreds of owambe and this means a lot for the vendors. It means simply means that more people would be needed to serve food, and drinks, bake cakes and prepare small chops. It means more event planners will be engaged, more decorators and musicians as well as other entertainers like Comedians, Comperes and DJs.
It is an unwritten rule for Nigerian occasions that rice is the number one refreshment for guests; however, there is a new trend at owambe today, many celebrants and guests now crave garri with chilled water, and sugar and seafood. The delicacies at parties lately appear to be incomplete without garri and fried fishes popularly known as Yoyo by the Yoruba-speaking communities. Aside from yoyo, there are also prawns, crabs, crayfishes and other seafood. The well-dressed guests are often served in a wooden tray of garri, seafood, ice cream and bottled water.
Garri in the past used to be seen as food for the poor and needy but today, it has become celebrities’ cravings. Men of class and women of taste are no longer ashamed to eat garri fish or any other protein in public. This acceptance simply opened the way for a new business in the party industry and a good number of people are already tapping into it.
Last week when Prince Adewale Alade Dosunmu clocked 65, Garri and seafood were included on the menu and a lot of top celebrities and royal fathers were seen enjoying the delicacy. Just as people were having fun with Garri and Seafood there, it was also happening at Whitestone Event Center at the 70th birthday of the popular politician and socialite, DONKIM. The event had Prince Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State Governor and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC Presidential candidate in attendance. There were other top dignitaries too and many of them were treated to a special garri and seafood delicacy.
What about Folahan and Olaide Ajayi’s wedding in Lagos? It was an event that drew the presence of many top politicians in Lagos. Garri was served there too. We can go on and on, the list is endless.
In this article, City People takes a look at some of the Garri and seafood vendors presently rocking the owambe industry.
Bissy Yoyo Platter: Since about one year ago, Bissy Yoyo Platter has been in high demand and a regular vendor at parties. This event vendor mainly specializes in serving garri Ijebu and proteins at parties. This is headed by Mrs Bisi Omegwe, a professional Town Planner who finds delight in also solving problems at parties. Her passion for satisfying people’s needs made her think through and establish this business. In the last year, Mrs Omegwe has brought a lot of difference to food supply at parties, she has become a force to reckon with in the party business and the niche she carved for herself has given her a spot previously occupied by just a few in the industry.
One would have thought that serving garri Ijebu to the high and mighty at parties would be an idea that would be dead on arrival, but for this beautiful and highly delectable woman, it was worth the risk because the demand for her brand to be present at parties has become high.
Dandies Catering Services is situated at Papa Ajao, Mushin in Lagos and provides catering services for birthdays, weddings and all kinds of events. Dandies’ services include event planning, decoration, catering services, cocktail and garri yoyo. Dandies’ catering is becoming more popular for its specially made garri Ijebu and yoyo at parties. City People found out that a lot of event planners now reach out to Dandies for its garri and yoyo because many clients have placed hot demands on them.
“I can boldly say that 90 per cent of the guests we serve wherever we go fall in love with it at first sight and they pick our appetizer ahead of the regular foods meant to be served at parties. When we serve it at events, you see people asking for more and that is good feedback for us,” Dandies Catering Services revealed
Grandma’s Hut: This is another fast-rising Garri Seafood vendor. This outlet has done so well in the past few months by serving the highly demanded party appetizer. Surprisingly, grandma’s hut is run by a young man. He runs the outlet differently and professionally.
“We serve seafood and garri Ijebu at all kinds of events. We’ve had a lot of events where people call us to come and serve our garri Ijebu and sea foods and they’ve been enjoying it. My girls are very neat, we are always at our best and ensure that we serve our guests well and that they like what we do. The feedback we get have been encouraging,” City People was told.
Abike Elemu And Grills: Abike Elemu and Grills is a brand that embraces culture and nature. We bring a taste of tradition & class to your event by serving our freshly tapped palm wine & local chops. Abike is not limited to just palm wine; she also does garri and yoyo. She receives a lot of demand from garri and Yoyo lovers as much as she receives from palm wine lovers too.
She has been in the business for quite a while now and has done so well for herself. “I’ve done a lot of events and I can say one. I have worked at Havillah Event Center, Federal Palace Hotel, Balmoral Hall, the Haven, Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta, and a lot of places that I can’t even remember. So I can’t really pinpoint which is the biggest for me because they have always been big and very successful for us,” she revealed.