The Vortex features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Clinton Treasure Diseye. Diseye, an indigene of Sagbama in Bayelsa State and a 400 level student of Sociology at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, is the Chief Executive, Tee’s Kitchen.
Tell us about your outfit, Tee’s Kitchen.
Tee’s kitchen is an online kitchen that offers professional catering services for busy individuals, corporate organizations and families. Irrespective of your location, you can place an order and we have your meal delivered to you on time and at affordable rates. We also render outdoor catering services for occasions such as, birthdays, weddings, matriculations, convocations, etc.
Inspiration behind Tee’s Kitchen
Tee’s kitchen was birthed out of my passion for cooking. Growing up, I had always loved cooking and trying out new things in the kitchen. Things weren’t smooth after I lost my parents and I said to myself instead of depending on people or engaging in illegal businesses, why not start up something. At first, I started with selling Zobo, making doughnuts and chin chin with capital I got from my savings.
It got to a point I needed to expand my business and the idea of Tee’s kitchen came. Initially I started alone, but now, I have about 8 persons working with me and it has been awesome. No matter where individuals are, once we receive their orders, we deliver right on time. Recently, we had a job to cook for over 100 persons in a child naming ceremony in Benin.
One other thing that inspired me into starting up Tee’s kitchen is the economic situation in Nigeria. The spate of unemployment and poverty is alarming and we can’t depend on the government anymore to provide jobs for the teeming youths.
What can the government do to tackle unemployment?
Truth remains that the spate of unemployment has led to many vices in the country like, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc. The government should focus on building industries that would employ graduates. They should also create conducive environments that will make businesses thrive.
How does Tee’s Kitchen operate?
Due to academic activities, I advertise Tee’s kitchen on social media platforms particularly on my Whatsapp Status indicating the meals for a particular day and what time we are open to receiving orders. And we do just home delivery for now since we don’t have a physical restaurant. Although there are plans for that. Tee’s Kitchen also organizes online and offline cooking classes. We’ve put up seven online cooking classes where interested individuals pay a token to get full practical training to boost their cooking skills.
We’ve also organized about five offline classes free of charge. But in this case, we ask individuals to just provide the ingredients needed and we teach them how to cook.
What challenges do you encounter?
Well, my biggest challenge has been turning down customers demand because of academic work. It’s really a big challenge.
How do you manage business and academics?
It hasn’t been easy I’d say; but in all I give thanks to God for the wisdom and direction. I’ve learnt to manage my time effectively and even if academic work seems to be a challenge, it doesn’t affect me badly. There are days I assign my workers to handle some jobs when I’m too occupied and they still deliver perfectly.
How has your business helped you?
It has helped me financially. At least I can now assist myself academically and not depend on anyone for livelihood. It has made me bold and confident and has also made me stand out.
What are your projections?
I’m working on having branches of my businesses in many cities with competent hands to manage them. The idea is to make Tee’s Kitchen a household name within Nigeria in the short and medium term and the world in the long term.
How has competition from others influenced you?
I wouldn’t say I have been in any form of competition with any business owner or those in my line of business. I know what I can offer and consistently make customer satisfaction my priority. I ensure that what I give my customers is healthy, nutritious, delicious and superb. So each day, I make conscious attempts to improve and work on my delivery and the packages I have for my customers.
Advice to youths waiting for white collar jobs
For those talented in different areas, don’t sit idly. Get something doing. You can learn painting, designing, hair braiding, or any other thing that can earn you a living. Relate with people who are professionals in a skill and learn from them.
With this, you’ll have something to fall back to instead of engaging in criminal acts in the name of waiting for white collar jobs. Start from somewhere; don’t fold your hands anymore.
Advice to young entrepreneurs?
So many persons tend to give up once they notice their business seem to be generating returns. They allow complacency creep in and at the end of the day, they end up shutting down the business. There will be challenges. All you need is to stay strong, hold on and believe that it won’t end there. Keep doing what you love doing and always seek the wisdom of God to lead you.