The food business is one that is significant across the globe. In recent times, cooking enthusiasts have set up food blogs and use them as a medium to post delicious recipes, stories and opinions about food. This written documentary focuses on Lohi Ogolo, a Nigerian born and Canadian bred cooking sensation, who has successfully built a career through food blogging.
Lohi Ogolo is a 26 year old Nigerian-Canadian chef, food blogger and entrepreneur. She has a degree in Political Science from Carlton University in Ottawa, and got a job in an insurance company after graduation in 2010. Cooking was a pastime for Lohi, and she decided to go into food blogging due to the rising demand for her recipes.
Lohi’s interest for food blogging started out in 2008, when she moved out of the university campus into her own apartment. As a student, she would often call her mother to send recipes of different meals to cook and store in her apartment. A few years down the line, it became a known fact amongst her friends, that cooking and entertaining guests was her hobby. On one fateful day, a good friend suggested for Lohi to take her cooking enthusiasm to the next level and create a career out of it. Together, they came up with a name, opened a food blog and her dad invested in a DSLR camera which all resulted to the birth of Lohi Creations.
The Creative Process
Lohi Creations attract many Nigerian clients and as a result, her cuisines majorly consist of local dishes. The creative process for Nigerian dishes usually come from her study time. She would spend a minimum of one-hour everyday reading continental cookbooks, food blogs and other food related websites that inspire her to put a twist in our Nigerian food. For her, it is a fun process of trial and error, until she hits jackpot and creates a whole new recipe.
The Career Shift
According to Lohi, she needed divine direction and wasn’t willing to leave her steady income to jump into the uncertainty of entrepreneurship. Timing played a key role, as she transitioned from juggling cooking and work, into a fulltime career when she was convicted to make the shift. As things improved, Lohi took on social media to spread the word about Lohi Creations through every available medium. She also spends a great amount of time creating a solid brand identity, and it has resulted to receiving accolades and recognition for her work.
Lohi Creations started as a food blog and she initially started earning income, solely from blog posts and catering services. Lohi took things a step further by officially registering the company and packaging her brand to capture people’s interest in her work and services. The general consensus of Nigerian food is messy, oily and unattractive. However, Lohi has been able to successfully change that perception worldwide, through her photography. With thorough research and a lot of photo editing, Lohi has been able to create a visual appeal towards Nigerian dishes and benchmarked her cuisines with that of other popular food blogs. Lohi eventually ventured into food writing, gigs, catering and advertising. She is now earning more than enough income, to cover her rent and other expenses. She also quit her 9 – 5 job to fully focus on the development of her start-up, as it gave her more time to blog, secure more online presence and increase her brand awareness.
The Target Market
Lohi’s target market consists of young professionals who host events from time to time in celebration of different milestones. She also caters to students and bachelors who order smaller portions of food on a weekly basis, and this helps her weekly account assessments. Lohi usually attracts her customers through word of mouth and social media advertising, and she claims that the secret to her brand awareness is allowing the quality of her work speak for itself. She also ensures that there is consistency with blog posts and other updates on social media pages about Lohi Creations.
The Entrepreneurial Dream
For Lohi, pursuing entrepreneurship has both its rewards and challenges. On one hand, being her own boss is a dream come true as she makes major decisions and works towards actualizing her vision. On the other hand, the workload can be rather over-bearing. Lohi has to effectively manage her time, respond to tons of emails, fulfill other business obligations and often have sleepless nights. A lot of her time goes into expansion plans and creating a global brand. Lohi hopes to one day open a restaurant in her neighbourhood in Canada, and also run a catering business in Nigeria.
The Long Term Projections
In the long run, Lohi plans to trademark her work and have her recipes available in cookbooks. She also dreams of owning a chain of restaurants, a line of kitchen products and a cooking school in Nigeria that will empower people to venture into the catering and event management. Currently, she offers consultation services to Nigerian restaurants that want to revamp their menus, and also writes for numerous publications including the Sunday Punch Newspaper. Lohi aspires to cook for the President of Nigeria someday.
Lohi’s journey in her catering career is highly inspirational and it is an encouragement to everyone aspiring to become entrepreneurs. Her story exhibits passion, hard work and courage to reinvent the wheel. She is committed to her success and is constantly pushing boundaries towards greater heights. Below are magnificent images of some of Lohi’s work: