Oladiwura Fakiyesi: Connecting Communities Through Food 

Small Business Canada

Oladiwura Fakiyesi was born and raised in southwest Nigeria. From a very young age, she was exposed to business and entrepreneurship as her parents were both business people. One of her earliest memories includes following her father to his place of business to receive reports from the workers.

For Oladiwura, even the decision to become an entrepreneur was made at a very young age. As a little girl, she grew up helping her mother in her grocery store. She saw how her mother interacted with the customers and ensured they got the best service. 

When she moved to Canada with her husband in 2016, Oladiwura quickly noticed a gap in the specialty grocery segment. She saw a big vacuum to fill and jumped in immediately by deciding to start the business in the international specialty grocery industry.

Oladiwura Fakiyesi is the director and co-founder of Flenjor Foods, an Atlantic Canada leader in international specialty groceries and cosmetics products. 

Sense of Home 

Upon arriving in Halifax from Nigeria, Oladiwura and her husband, Olakunie, understood that the African community in Canada congregates around food a lot. This was part of the integration into the Canadian culture through African food, rituals and communities. 

There has been a significant increase in people of African descent moving to Canada, especially due to the availability of jobs. Canada’s sense of home and belonging to its immigrant community has also contributed to this migration.

Oladiwura’s idea of opening a grocery store was to cater to this increasing African population while filling that gap in the market for an African grocery store.

Specialty Store

In March 2021, Flenjor Foods was inaugurated as a Halifax-based specialty grocery store offering a wide range of African foods in wholesale and retail quantities. In addition to everyday groceries, they sell beauty products such as wigs, weaves, and beautiful ready-to-wear African fabrics.

The entrepreneur couple realizes that African food is gradually going mainstream. So when more people see African grocery stores in their neighborhoods, they feel more connected with the food. Through their enterprise, the Fakiyesis hope that many dishes of African descent will move from the niche community into the mainstream community.

The advancement not only benefits the African community but also welcomes new people to start businesses and contribute to the economy, leading to a more culturally rich and diverse community and exploring new things with new neighbors.

Flenjor Foods is a small business that operates in the retail industry, with 11–20 employees, creating a revenue of $1M-$5M and headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Oladiwura Fakiyesi is an anatomy graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and pursued her education by earning a degree in general sciences at the Community College of Baltimore County, USA.

She is a proud mother of three boys who uses her spare time to volunteer for community organizations. 

Flenjor Foods is a gateway to the African continent for shoppers from various backgrounds. To know more about their products, visit the website at https://www.flenjorfoods.com/

Small business owners have always been the first to understand the requirements of society, noticing gaps and initiating efforts to fill them. To read more about these innovative entrepreneurs, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.

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