Princess Adeyinka Tekenah is the founder of Happy Coffee, an indigenous Nigerian coffee brand. A pioneer in the Nigerian coffee industry, Tekenah started her business over six years ago and has since brought Nigerian coffee to the limelight.
Tekenah said she was inspired to launch her brand after reading a book about Starbucks’ success story. “After reading a book in college on the history of Starbucks, I got the dream of creating an indigenous Nigerian coffee brand in the future,” she said. African lionesses.
Then, in 2015, a call was made for African entrepreneurs to submit ideas to the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program. She applied to launch a coffee brand and she was selected to receive the $5,000 seed capital with which she started the business.
“From the start, the goal was to ensure that Nigerians had access to locally grown coffee. Nigeria grows coffee, but people drank imported products. Our company seeks to create solutions to the challenges that are holding back the coffee sector in Nigeria,” she said. How we did it in Africa.
She first set up a mobile cafe and mainly sold at events and after a year set up her first pop-up cafe in 2017. This was after people started asking her if she had a place where they could come and drink coffee.
“Customers then asked to buy our coffee beans for home consumption. Our company has evolved in this direction. From the pop-up coffee, we started packaging our own house blend which is freshly roasted coffee sourced from Nigerian farmers,” she said.
Today, Tekenah has 10 coffee retail products and three coffee experience centers in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2019, the brand launched the first-ever Lagos Coffee Festival in the West African state. Additionally, the company educates Nigerians on the art of coffee drinking and provides access to the availability of Nigerian grown coffee.
Tekenah comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She grew up with parents who ran their own business and developed her flair along the way, she notedadding that she mostly learned on the job.
“Our vision is to become Nigeria’s premier publicly traded coffee brand, a socially and environmentally responsible brand and most importantly, to improve the livelihoods of everyone who comes in contact with our brand,” she said. declared to Lionesses of Africa.
Tekenah is a graduate of Harold Washington University in Chicago. She also holds a degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. She returned from America to Nigeria more than 10 years ago.
“I have just graduated from college. Many friends and family members have wondered why move to Nigeria, when you have the opportunity to have a better life in America. People don’t weren’t used to people going back to Nigeria,” she said. noted.
“I made this decision with one conclusion; I will make a difference. Tekenah has since done so with its Happy Coffee brand. When she launched the brand, she did not realize how unstructured elements of the Nigerian coffee value chain were, she said.
“Nevertheless, the challenge presented its own solution framework: Build Local. The core of our vision is to provide innovative coffee solutions, while supporting local farmers and boosting the value chain,” said the coffee entrepreneur.