Let’s meet Prudent Oyinlayefa Agbuza, a chef and a foodprenueur CEO of prudy’s Cuisine. Exquisite Magazine is excited to have an interview with Chef Prudy. Let’s read up on her story!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am Prudent Oyinlayefa Agbuza, known as Chef Prudy, a distinguished culinary professional. A graduate of the esteemed University of Benin, my culinary journey spans over half a decade, a period marked by remarkable growth and learning. My unwavering love for cooking has been a lifelong companion, propelling me forward through deliberate practice, personal enrichment, and formal education at the renowned Ehis Culinary Arts Academy.
My expertise has graced the kitchens of renowned personalities within Nigeria’s entertainment realm, a privilege I enjoyed during my tenure as the Head Chef at Atelier Lounge and Restaurant located at MMIA, Lagos. Beyond this, my journey includes the stewardship of clubs, and restaurants, and the strategic nurturing of emerging food enterprises across Benin, Onitsha, and Warri. In these endeavours, my guidance has led these ventures to not only flourish but also to achieve heightened profitability.
I am also a part-time culinary tutor at the Ehis Culinary Arts Academy, a food consultant, recipe developer, caterer and a gift curator. I currently manage my foods business Prudy’scuisine a mobile food vending service in Lagos.
WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS DO AND HOW IT STARTED?
Prudy’s Cuisine stands as a beacon of health-conscious culinary offerings, catering to a diverse range of preferences within our target demographic. Our commitment to convenience is epitomized by our comprehensive food subscription plans, which encompass an array of options ranging from ready-to-cook soups, stews, and sauces, to pre-mixed baking essentials. Additionally, our repertoire extends to meticulously prepared cooked meals and delectable soups, all conveniently packaged in bowls and smaller portions.
Our hallmark is punctuality, ensuring that orders are promptly delivered at mutually agreed-upon times.
The genesis of Prudy’s Cuisine dates back to my final year at the University of Benin in 2017. During this period, a significant observation took root – students, particularly during exam seasons, grappled with exhaustion and suboptimal nutrition. Viewing this as a pressing concern, my firm belief that optimal performance hinges on proper nutrition compelled me to take action. The solution I envisioned was born: providing prepared meals from local eateries and bukas, a service for which I charged a fee.
Our maiden client, located in the nursing hostel, marked the beginning of an exciting journey. Recognizing the untapped potential, I approached a local Buka with my proposition. Although this initial collaboration didn’t come to fruition, it ignited a spark within me. I decided to pivot, personally crafting the meals and embarking on a mission to deliver them. The outcome exceeded expectations, garnering effusive praise and inspiring word-of-mouth referrals. The moniker “the cook next door” became synonymous with Prudy’s Cuisine, a testament to our accessible and responsive service.
Fueling our expansion, I initiated a grassroots campaign, converting the residents of my hostel into an enthusiastic team. With my dormitory housing over a dozen supportive peers, collaboration was effortless, as the promise of complimentary meals in exchange for assistance proved enticing. From adept delivery personnel to adept shoppers and kitchen assistants, my neighbours embraced their roles with enthusiasm. This unity translated into providing catering services for pivotal events like final year dinners and picnics, cementing Prudy’s Cuisine as a pivotal culinary cornerstone throughout Benin.
HOW DO YOU SOLVE CUSTOMER CHALLENGE?
Navigating the landscape of growth, Prudy’s Cuisine has adeptly addressed several challenges, emblematic of our unwavering commitment to exceptional service.
Convenience stands as a cornerstone of our brand’s ethos. By introducing ready-to-cook and baked products, we’ve revolutionized meal preparation, slashing cooking time to under an hour for any culinary creation. For our cherished food subscribers, we’ve artfully alleviated the burden of meal planning and sourcing. All that’s required of our patrons is to designate a preferred delivery time. Our robust logistics network guarantees that these lunch packs arrive at their destination, exuding freshness and punctuality.
A symphony of variety and nutrition characterizes our culinary offerings. Recognizing the drudgery of monotonous meals, our accomplished culinary team embarked on a journey to curate an expansive menu embracing an array of cuisines. Infusing local spices, seasonal delights, and the highest-grade ingredients.
Prioritizing health and safety is entrenched in our brand’s DNA. Acknowledging the unique dietary proclivities of each individual, our flexible approach empowers us to craft bespoke lunch packs, finely tuned to specific preferences and nutritional needs. Furthermore, our unwavering dedication to adhering to the highest HACCP standards permeates every facet of our operations, spanning from the procurement of raw ingredients to the final delivery. This unwavering commitment underscores our steadfast commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our patrons.
WHO ARE YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMERS?
Our ideal customers encompass a diverse spectrum, reflecting our commitment to serving a wide array of individuals with distinct needs and lifestyles. These groups include:
• Corporate organization
• Busy moms
• Remote workers
OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU
1. Prayers, Bible Study & Meditation: Begin the day with spiritual grounding, seeking inspiration and guidance for the day ahead.
2. Affirmations: Set positive intentions for the day with affirmations that foster a productive mindset.
3. 30-Minute Exercise: Engage in a 30-minute exercise routine to invigorate the body and promote well-being.
4. Clean Up: Tidy up the living space, ensuring a clutter-free environment to enhance focus.
1. Review To-Do List: Go over the to-do list, mapping out the tasks and goals for the day.
2. Prioritize Orders: Identify and prioritize orders to ensure timely fulfilment of customer expectations.
3. Social Media Engagement: Share updates and content about the business on social media platforms to maintain brand visibility.
1. Market Runs: If impromptu orders arise, embark on market runs to secure necessary ingredients for exceptional meal preparation.
2. Cooking and Packaging: Prepare and meticulously package orders, ensuring each dish embodies the quality that defines Prudy’s Cuisine.
3. Order Fulfillment: Dispatch orders for delivery, upholding the promise of freshness and punctuality.
1. Cleanup: Tidy up the workspace, maintaining a sanitary and organized cooking environment.
2. Nap: Take a brief nap to recharge and rejuvenate, ensuring sustained energy for the remainder of the day.
1. Reading & Reflection: Spend time reading and contemplating personal and business improvement strategies.
2. Financial Review: Assess the day’s financial transactions, ensuring accurate records and tracking of business growth.
3. Gym & Networking: Head to the gym for a workout session while networking and engaging on social media.
4. Fellowship: Participate in a fellowship for uplifting praise sessions and spiritual connection.
1. Planning for the Next Day: Draft a to-do list for the following day, outlining tasks and priorities.
2. Gratitude Note: Write a note of gratitude, reflecting on the day’s accomplishments and blessings.
3. Rest: Conclude the day with a sense of fulfilment, taking a well-deserved rest to recharge for the day ahead.
HOW HAS BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR AFFECTED YOUR FAMILY LIFE?
Being an entrepreneur has brought about both positive and negative impacts on my family life. Let me elaborate on both sides of the coin:
Entrepreneurship has allowed me to cultivate more quality time with my friends and family. The flexibility in my schedule enables me to be present and available when they require my support. Moreover, my journey as an entrepreneur has instilled in me a sense of determination and resilience, qualities that have not only inspired those around me but have also been a source of motivation within our family circles.
Transitioning from a well-paying job in a Nigerian bank to pursue my culinary dream had its share of challenges. This decision created a financial strain and caused a strain on my relationship with my family. Given that my parents were significant sponsors, their financial support had to pause temporarily as I invested most of their contributions directly into my business. This financial shift meant that I had to rely heavily on my earnings, and balancing personal and business expenses became a complex juggling act. Throughout 2020, I was barely able to leave my business even for a day. This reality led to limited visits home and a temporary disconnect from family interactions for the first several months and nearly a year after embarking on my entrepreneurial journey.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
My motivation springs from a deeply personal place, my parents. I consider my culinary talents a gift from my mother, a reflection of her skills and passion for cooking. Yet, it seems she might have held back on fully embracing her dream of being a foodpreneur. Today, I’m driven to live out that dream not just for myself, but for both of us. This journey is a way of honouring her legacy and making our shared aspirations a reality.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
My greatest fear revolves around the prospect of failure.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success, in my view, is the embodiment of purpose fulfilment, passionate pursuit, a joyful process, and the realization of every goal outlined in my daily schedule.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
My favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur lies in the realm of strategic thinking and decision-making.
IF YOU HAD ONE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Looking back, if I were granted the opportunity to start my career anew, I would refrain from leaving my bank job when I did. Recognizing the stability of that position, its consistent income, and the networking opportunities it provided, I believe it would have served as a valuable stepping stone for my business endeavours. Moreover, retaining that stability would have granted me a more gradual transition into the entrepreneurial world, offering a cushion within the entrepreneurial community.
TOP 3 SKILLS NEEDED TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
Resilience and Adaptability
Creativity and strategic thinking
Effective communication and Marketing/Selling
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION?
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PERSONS WHO WANT TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS?
My advice to those aspiring to become entrepreneurs is to approach the journey with honesty and realism. If you have a stable 9-5 job, think twice before leaving it. Entrepreneurship doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll escape being ordered around; in fact, you’ll always have customers to serve. There are no off days, especially at the beginning. Additionally, be prepared to encounter failures. In the world of entrepreneurship, failures are stepping stones. They provide valuable learning experiences that refine your decision-making and pave the way for improved strategies. Embrace the challenges and the lessons they bring, and let them guide you toward making more informed choices.
WHAT BUSINESS-RELATED BOOK HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST?
Business Structure Manual by Abiola Adediran
IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOU NAME IT?
BECOMING — A guide in navigating life seasons and this thing called entrepreneurship
CONTACT YOU WISH TO MAKE PUBLIC
Phone/WhatsApp number -09057774307
Instagram handle – prudys_cuisine
Email – email@example.com