Christmas don’t come everyday happens to be my Grandma’s favorite quote when I ask for more grilled ribs after the first round. I grew up totally believing that quote until I woke up, started making my own money and met Ette. Ette the connoisseur chef with the magic wand. With Ette’finger Likin’ barbecue & cocktails you can have Christmas 365 days if you like.
[You don’t know under what influence of savory this post was done].
The awesome guys at Calabar Blog got curious and decided to dig into the walls of Ette’finger Likin’ barbecue & cocktails’s Boss Ette Assam and the interview below is how it rolled. Enjoy.
Who is Ette ?
My name is Ette Assam, am a chef rosstisuer & a mixologist. I am a graduate of Linguistics from the University of Calabar. I run an outfit called Ette’finger Likin’ barbecue & cocktails.
What motivated Ette to go into catering business and how difficult was it to start up?
Well many things did. One was the long strikes those days in the university and two I was a foodie. I found out that people in Calabar love good food and there was no where we could have good barbecue. The events I attended didn’t have such things like small chops and barbecue so I saw it as an opportunity to give people value, it wasn’t that hard for me because I was certain I had what people wanted and I knew I was bringing value to the table.
How will you describe your brand and how long have you been in business?
I would simply describe my brand as a passion & value driven brand and I have been in business for 15 years and went pro now for 9 years now.
What inspires your business drive?
Passion! Passion!! Passion!!!
Share a little about your business growth and expansion.
My business took off while I was still in the university, it was challenging. I had to convince people to buy into my product and they were basically students, who had little birthday party here and there. My major breakthrough came from one friend who introduced me to his boss who was a House of Representatives member, he wanted to host the Governor and they wanted good barbecue and catering service. I gave him a run for his money and that was how my business went to another level. I blew to become a household name. Everybody that was somebody in Calabar wanted me to cater for their events. I started with one staff but now I have seven staff now.
What would you describe as the most exhilarating and defining moment of your journey so far?
It was when I was contracted to cater for the international artists: Akon, Kirk Franklin , Fat Joe, Neyo etc by the Cross River State government. That was the moment I knew my brand was here to stay, the moment was priceless.
What’s the most difficult challenge you have faced running a catering business ?
A lot of people do say it is the start-up capital but that was not my case as I started my business with 2,500 Naira and then grew from there. A typical challenge would be finding passionate staff that would see the vision on the wall as a lot of people saw catering as a waste of time then.
How have you managed to stay afloat over the years, to be the most sort after catering service in Calabar?
I would say it’s been God on my side and he gave me power to make wealth. However, I do read, update, practice my field and I keep a stay positive mindset people and with good mentors. I also attend seminars and shows on my field too and constantly improving on my recipes.
As a man in a business dominated by women, Does that make you work extra hard to impress clients?
Hahaha! Well this days is what you can bring on the table and your packaging that matters.
Do you see growth potentials in the catering business in Calabar?
Yes, Catering business in Calabar has grown over the years people are beginning to tap into the potentials of the business.
What gives you fulfillment in the business?
To see my clients happy and satisfied that we gave them their money’s worth.
What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?
The first time we served kerosene bbq chicken to people in an event. It was crazy but we learnt our lessons and it has never repeated itself after that accident.
Is the Ette’finger Likin’ barbecue & cocktails limited to only Calabar?
Not at all. We have gone around the country as speak we have a job for Independence Day in Lagos.
We see this brand taking over the south-south, eastern Nigeria market and in the years to come the world.
Do you offer training courses for people interested in catering business?
At this time it’s a No but we hope to start soon when our kitchen is fully equipped for training purpose.
Words for aspiring entrepreneurs….
They should continue to believe in their passion and sharpen their skills in any business they find themselves.
And It’s a wrap!
You can contact Ette’finger Likin’ barbecue & cocktails via:
Phone: 0803 401 0351
Don’t forget to tell him we referred you. It would earn you over 10% Discount.