Rising Stars: Abi and Michael

We speak with Abi Adefisan, co-founder of YumChop, to talk about what started this husband-and-wife led journey into the food industry, the challenges that come from running a business and what they’re doing to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs entering the food scene.

Introduce yourselves

We're a husband-and-wife led team, driven and passionate about cooking flavoursome and authentic meals bursting with African flavours. Our ambition is to create authentic African meals that are free from any added preservatives, flavourings, or artificial colourings. We believe in using only natural ingredients in our meals that excite our customer's palate with natural spices, herbs and fresh ingredients from the soil that are all responsibly sourced.

With a name derived from a Nigerian slang term ‘Chop’ for ‘eat your food’ and ‘Yum’ slang for Yummy, YumChop was borne out of an archive of traditional foods and recipes. Our business fuses African meals and flavours with foods from cultures all across the globe, creating a number of unique and incredible fusions of flavour as a result.

What was it that drew you to the food and beverage industry?

A serious passion for cooking.

Growing up in a West African household with generations of family cooking traditions that have inspired over 20 years of creativity in our kitchen. We realised that some of the most joyous and memorable moments are created around the table with friends and family and wanted to create something to make those moments even more memorable.

We wanted to share that home-style cooking with people to share our passion for food.

What challenges have you had to overcome to get to where you are now?

Many! Breaking the barriers with African inspired cuisine, the investments, securing appropriate facilities for manufacturing. There are many challenges that come to mind, but with a lot of work, it has been worth it.

But being married for over 21 years has made working together an easier journey, and being blessed with 2 boys has only made us more driven.

You have recently launched YumChop Solutions. How did this start and what does it mean for the business?

YumChop solutions is our product range of easily accessible and tasty means served hot from our automatic retail kiosks and packaged in environmentally friendly tubs that are flash-frozen to retain quality and taste.

We're big on community and have been working with universities like Canterbury Christ Church University to help supply food locally. Our Vending Kiosks are an incredible step towards accessibility and giving back to our supporters.

Where do you see YumChop five years from now?

In five years we see YumChop becoming a national brand and supplying our meals to the big superstores where the home meals we grew up with can be enjoyed by everyone. We want to share our passion for food as we believe eating should bring people together with exciting flavours with a delicious blend of culture and comfort.

Do you have any ideas on how to inspire your generation and future ones?

Oh yes, I do- at YumChop we believe strongly in the importance of community and giving back to that community however we can. We support employability through a number of schemes, namely by mentoring undergraduates as they enter the culinary industry.

As well as using our manufacturer-approved facility to support other small and growing businesses we want to see excel.

Free-from, with love x

Learn more about YumChop here. Follow them on social media.

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