Ololade Korede is a popular event planner and caterer in Lagos. She is a beautiful woman, who graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University, where she studied Industrial Labour Resources. Ololade Korede popularly called Kokomi is a lover of great tasting food and party. Her love for food brought her close to her dream, Food Spice Production, a major breakthrough in her business world. Kokomi, in an interview with City People’s Reporter, DAMILOLA AKANDE, revealed the importance of food spices and why popular women now make use of them in their cooking.
Can you tell us more about you?
My name is Ololade Korede, I am an entrepreneur and I am into event planning, catering and Food Spice Production.
How did Food Spice Production start for you?
Naturally, I have a great sense of taste and smell. This was not something I planned, so I think it is something God wants me to do. It started from me trying to create what I wanted for myself. I started with drying bitter leaf to eat for myself, then I realised that if it was something I was enjoying, other people could enjoy it too. I started drying bitter leaves in large quantities to sell. One of my female Pastors also advised me to do more not just dry bitter leaf. I started trying and experimenting. I started with the pepper soup spice then I went on into suya spice. Now, I have ginger and garlic, multipurpose seasoning and dried pepper. I have other products that are coming up such as egusi, ogbono and seafood in future. I want to take all these gradually.
Which of your spices is your favourite?
I love my pepper soup spice so much. The pepper soup spice is everything because it contains 16 spices in one bottle. It is everything you need in your pepper soup, if you put it in water with your seasonings and dried pepper, the pepper soup is ready. You don’t need to add any other thing. It is also the most selling product I have in stock. I also like my multipurpose spice because the taste is different. It is something I created out of my own taste and many people have come to like it as well.
As an event planner and caterer, what event can you say brought you to the limelight?
I cannot say a particular event did because mostly when my people want to have a party, I cater and cook for them. They just ask what other party function I would like or recommend. That was how I started planning events. It came to me naturally. Since my family call me for every party to ask questions, I do research and from this, I get better in the business. I like event planning much because it involves many things such as cake, music, food among others. It makes me really active which is what I like about event planning.
Can you take us through your educational journey?
I went to Ogbelodo Primary School at Surulere in Lagos. I went to Onitolo Secondary School at Oju-Elegba. My tertiary education was at the University of Ogun State known as Olabisi Onabanjo, I studied Industrial Labour Relations, popularly called. I.L.R. I made use of the business aspect of my education, which has helped me a lot. Though, everything I am doing today has nothing to do with what I studied in school as most of it comes from my mum. She is a full-time caterer. She had a restaurant when we were growing. I remember helping her out then so I learnt how to cook during the process.
Tell us a little about your mother?
I learnt much from my mother. She is a very beautiful person with a beautiful soul. She loves everybody and is very accommodating. She doesn’t get angry and is very free with everybody. In fact, if I don’t want anyone to hear about something I don’t tell my mother because she will tell everybody. She doesn’t keep secrets and she has a pure heart. I learnt to be kind, accommodating and industrious from her because she is very hardworking. She is a retired Nurse and after that, she has had a restaurant, supermarket and other businesses. We live together, so she is still training me.
What is Kokomi like when she is not working?
I am a very funny person, I like to play with my kids. We dance together as I use to be a dancer. The kids took that from me. We play and run around the house together. I hate to be bored, if I acted bored, that means I am tired or need to rest. I like to be active. If I want to rest, I can only take a day off because by the next day, I would be looking for what to do.
As you clock a new age, are there any regrets?
I don’t regret anything because I always learn lessons. Everything I do in life is based on my decisions and I take responsibility for them. Life is full of so many things and God even said it is not a bed of roses.
You have to work before you eat, suffer to grow and cannot see good without seeing bad. So, I have no regret. For all the friends I have made, those who have loved me, let me say that my relationships are just lessons. I love my life so much, so I don’t want to relive another age. I want to keep moving up by God’s grace.
What advice do you have for other spice producers like you?
They should continue to do their work because Kokomi Spice is a competition. I am aiming for the Dangote, I am not a small spice maker. Dangote is my competition because I want Dangote to be fearful when he hears my name. That is my target, I want the world to know my spices and me. I am building an empire with my spices.
Where do you see Kokomi Spices in 5 years?
I see it all over the world. Right now, Kokomi Spices could be found in America and UK. I hope to sell them in Europe and Africa. I want my spices to be loved everywhere in the world. I see myself spreading my wings and doing my thing because I enjoy doing this.