In 2014, Omowunmi Akande’s partner and Co-Founder Smoothie Express Tracy had been trying to get on a smoothie detox with a goal of losing weight at the time but It was difficult keeping up with her detox as she had to wake up early to prepare her smoothies before leaving for work. Tracy struggled with this for a while and came to the realization that this was not a problem peculiar to just her. She called Omowunmi and told me about her challenges and how it would be a great idea to make smoothies and have them delivered to people’s offices and homes. This birthed the idea – Smoothie Express with operations starting in March 2015.
Smoothie Express is a healthy food and beverage company aimed at assisting people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, with a goal to become a daily part of our customer’s lifestyle, helping them achieve their health goals by providing them with our healthy meals in the most convenient and affordable way possible. Smoothie Express offers an extensive menu with a wide range of over 30 different flavours of smoothies including Smoothies, Salads, Sandwiches, Parfaits and Iceteas cut across different categories to satisfy every type of individual.
Starting out in business, Omowunmi and Tracy were driven by a passion has driven the business to fill the missing gap of accessibility and affordability because at the time, there were hardly any smoothie companies that focused on just smoothies on an extensively large scale, “We knew the importance of consuming 5-A-Day portions of fruit and vegetables recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and how difficult it was meeting this recommendation. What better way to meet this requirement than in a smoothie, and a yummy one at that. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. We wanted our customers to have the same satisfaction in our smoothies as they would if they were having a bowl of icecream. It is very important for us that our customer is getting value for their money”
Within a short while, Smoothie has recorded success in business a lot more than what Omowunmi and Tracy had thought “Truthfully, we didn’t imagine it would grow this big in a very short while. We thought it would just be a “side hustle” while we still maintained our day to day jobs” Eventually both co-founders have had to quit their jobs focusing on meeting the demands of the business, actively working to open up an outlet to get closer to our customers.
Smoothie Express currently provides employment to 10 people directly with a plan to increase this number as it expands and opens up outlets “We plan to have express outlets in strategic locations all over Lagos and eventually nationwide. The goal is to be the number one healthy food and Beverage Company in Nigeria and we are well on our way there. Till date we have sold over 50,000 smoothies, over 25,000 salads and we have 5000 unique customers” Smoothie Express also empower farmers by purchasing fruits and vegetables from them directly and contributing to the agricultural sector.
Like all other businesses across the world, Smoothie Expresss have experienced challenges with the major challenge till date been power. Because of the nature of business, constant electricity is a major requirement and this has not been easy for the team. There is also the challenge of logistics but Omowunmi and her team have found a way around this “We handled our deliveries ourselves and it was so difficult managing all the riders. We have been able to solve that problem eventually by outsourcing our deliveries as we realized logistics was another business entirely.”
Same year of starting out in business, Smoothie Express got a major boost as Omowunmi was selected for the inaugural Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. This she says changed everything for her “Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme in its entirety has been such a mind-blowing experience. From the mentoring, to the training materials to the boot camp and then funding has been the greatest opportunity one could ever ask for. The opportunity came at the initial phase of our business when we were still trying to find our bearing. The funding and mentoring helped stir our business on to the right path. It’s been two years since I was selected as one of the candidates and I am still getting so much support and publicity from the foundation. I will forever be indebted to Tony Elumelu.
To learn more and purchase from Smoothie Express visit – Website; www.smoothieexpress.com.ng. Social media handles; Instagram – @smoothieexpressng, Twitter – @smoothieexng and Facebook – Smoothieexpressng and contact numbers are 09099319266/09099319267.