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After completing the gBETA accelerator program and winning the grand prize in the ClearCo ClearPitch competition, Tobi Smith and Bethany Oyefeso are transforming their small business, All I Do Is Cook, into a startup with the ultimate goal of making Nigerian food accessible to everyone. .
Smith and Oyefeso moved closer to that goal when Houston grocery story Phencia began stocking the startup’s condiments in 2021. The same year, Smith and Oyefeso joined the gBETA accelerator program. Smith described this program as instrumental in growing their business from a small business to a start-up, now in their early stages of pre-seed funding.
“They taught us all about what it was like to be a start-up and connected us with mentors and others working in food and beverage,” Smith says.
It was during their participation in the gBETA program that they heard about the ClearCo ClearPitch contest and eventually won the grand prize of $20,000.
“The last two years have been crazy,” exclaims Smith, who started All I Do Is Cook as a blog in 2016 and turned it into a cooking business.
“When I came to Denton from Nigeria, I walked into Walmart expecting to find some common Nigerian snacks, but was surprised I couldn’t find any, so I started cooking my own food. and share the recipes,” he says.
The pandemic and subsequent restaurant closures sent them into overdrive where, in just one year, their total number of orders jumped from 350 to more than 2,000, then doubled in 2021 to more than 4,000.
And if their focus on Nigerian food doesn’t already set them apart, their approach to production does. Smith shared that he and Oyefeso have been heavily focused on the operational side of their business.
“We want everything to run as efficiently as possible with as little waste as possible,” Smith says. “We do not carry out an inventory. We only order the quantity of products we need and we only print the quantity of packaging we need. We know how much food we can produce in a week, and we use timing and order amounts as an indicator of when we might need to increase production.
This emphasis on efficiency and respect for the environment should make them attractive to both investors and consumers.
“We are preparing to launch our pre-seed funding phase,” Smith shares, “and our goal is to enter major supermarkets like Walmart, HEB and Kroger.”
Tobi Smith and Bethany Oyefeso take their startup to the next level. Photos via allidoiscook.com