Ada Osakwe started Nuli as a juice delivery company operating out of her kitchen and delivering to customers via motorbikes. She has since expanded to selling a range of food and drink products in the biggest supermarkets in the country, as well as six cafés between Lagos and Abuja. Osakwe tells James Torvaney about growing the company, the challenges she encountered and the opportunities in the healthy food industry.
Give us a snapshot of your business.
Nuli Juice is a healthy fast-casual dining brand. Our mission is to galvanise healthier lifestyles through fresh, locally grown food.
Our food and drinks are prepared with produce sourced locally from indigenous farmers. For example, fonio stir-fry, cassava waffles, and fruit juices.
We currently have six physical stores in Lagos and Abuja. These are a mix of larger stores – with ample seating space where people can eat, have meetings, and relax – and smaller outlets more focused towards ‘grab and go’ customers. We also provide branded Nuli products to supermarkets and hotels, and manufacture drinks and snacks for other retailers.
What motivated you to start Nuli?
Starting Nuli Juice was an accident – I never set out to be an entrepreneur. After working in finance, I became the senior investment advisor to Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, working on bringing agriculture investment into Nigeria. In this role, I observed how Nigeria was sending over $10 billion every year importing basic items like rice and fish.