Oreoluwa Odunmbaku-Odedina is the beautiful, young and hardworking daughter of Lagos political juggernaut, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku popularly called Baba Eto.
She is dogged and a never say die when it comes to whatever she puts her mind to do, no matter what the obstacle might be, she forges ahead and achieves success at the end of the day. Beautiful Ore who presently works with one of the Lagos State parastatals is currently catching her groove back as she just added catering business to her streams of income.
A few weeks back, Mrs Odunmbaku-Odedina, who spoke briefly about her dad established that she doesn’t see him as Baba Eto rather ‘I see him as my dad, my spiritual leader, my no. 1 fan. You can never go wrong with him, whatever you determine to do, my dad will always support you. He will stand by you. That is the father I know and adore. He is growing gracefully.’
‘When God calls you and you work in that strength, you will see it. At 75, he lives agile because he takes care of himself, he is ever young, ever radiant, always on his feet. He will start service at 9 am and stand through it all and will still go for meetings. The strength and grace God gave him is unquantifiable, he is one in a million. He is a rare human being. I am lucky, blessed, and privileged to be his daughter.’
The mother of four who had twins on two occasions had a chat with City People’s Brands Editor, DAMILARE SALAMI 08155134152 where she spoke about her catering business, her intimacy with Cardinal Odunmbaku and a few other interesting topics.
Below are excerpts from the interview, enjoy.
How did the catering business start for you?
My mum has been in the catering business for more than 30 years and I’ve always loved cooking, I have a passion for cooking, and whenever I cook, I have this sense of fulfilment and I have been doing more of indoor; so now, I decided to make it outdoor and full-blown.
Why would a pretty woman like you pick up cooking as a job?
Because I love it of course, I love cooking, I love to feed people, I’m a feeder, I love premium food, do you understand what I mean? That food that you eat and you feel fulfilled is what I deliver always. When I go to parties, I like to eat good food; so I decided to start cooking the kind of foods I’ll love to eat when I go to parties. All my food are always hot, tasty and delicious.
So when did you start doing this?
I’ve been doing this for a while but I’ve not been doing this on a large scale. It started fully just about a year ago now.
One year and the business is already looking this good, what’s the source of your inspiration?
My children, my family and the friends that supported me; you know I have to keep going and keep delivering.
How did you come about the name Goldiv’as Kitchen?
I’ve had the name for like forever, it’s a brand and even before anybody knows me and the name, I’ve been working hard on it.
If pretty Ore is not cooking, what would she be doing?
I have a job so I’m working, I have a family to cater to, my husband and children are there, and we are also working on something very big that will be unveiled soon.
Where do you see your brand in the next couple of years?
Well, we’re going international, I am in a catering school now and I am working on becoming a premium chef with the extra, extra. We are working on this and it will be clear very soon, the course that we charting.
You will agree with me that there is stiff competition in the catering industry. What edge do you have over your competitors?
Everybody has a niche and I have created one for myself and that’s what I am capitalizing on. The sky is large enough for everyone to fly and we are all flying. As we have it today, some are doing amala, some are doing Ofada, Garri and all that. Everyone has carved a niche for themselves and are focusing on that for growth.
So what’s Goldivas Kitchen’s niche?
My niche is premium foods.
You started in Lagos, right?
Cuts in… I started in London, I didn’t start in Lagos. When I started, I always make bulk orders for friends, Efo, Amala, Rice and what have you; I do all kinds of foods and I cook them from home even during my university days. My Nigerian friends would just call me and make their orders and I would cook from home to be delivered to them at their various destinations.
Away from Goldivas Kitchen, let’s talk about your childhood. What was growing up like for Oreoluwa Odunmbaku?
My childhood was very beautiful, I have a loving father and mother, I grew up in a very lovely background with a lovely family. My Dad would always encourage you and pray for you. He is indeed a father figure to me and several others who are not even his biological children.
What can you say about being an Odunmbaku?
There’s so much to say about it but one definite thing I can say is that the name has opened a lot of doors for me. (Tani o fe je omo Baba Eto) who wouldn’t like to be known or addressed as the child of Baba Eto? I don’t kick or knock doors, I just attempt to open and by the grace of God, they just go widely opened.
Finally, what has the acceptability of your brand been like?
The feedback has been good. Have you heard people’s comments on the meals today? They have been good. I’ve had a lot of referrals over the past and a lot of people have even requested my cards and contacts today. Just as I told you earlier, everybody appreciates good foods and with the extra that Goldivas Kitchen is adding, the sky is the starting point for us.