Skip to content Skip to footer

Spicing Up Our Palates: Naija Jollof #fundedbyFACE Feature

Beauty Oziegbe is a Nigerian-born chef who discovered her passion for cooking at the age of six. She honed her culinary skills over the years and turned her passion into a career. Today, Beauty is an accomplished chef who creates dishes that are a blend of Nigerian and international flavors.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (For e.g. Your background, what made you interested in cooking, etc.)

    My name is Beauty Oziegbe and I was born and raised in Nigeria. I started cooking at the age of six years old. Originally it was as a punishment from my stepmother because I was the only one that would cook and do the chores at home. Later, I started to enjoy it as it became my only safe place in a horrible living situation.

  2. How did Naija Jollof start?

    I was doing a real estate showing with a client in the Markham area and he wanted to try Nigerian food. To my surprise, there was none I could go to.

  3. Can you share some of the challenges you faced along the way? (Was access to capital one of them?)

    Ohhhh challenges… Everything was a challenge because I was the first to do something like this! In 2018, there was not a heavy presence online for African food. My biggest challenge was getting financial support for the business, no one believed in it. Being Black in a system designed for other ethnicities, I had to take a lot of equity from home and it interfered with my credit. Face Coalition was a great help and relief for my business.

  4. How did you overcome those challenges?

    The future is my motivator! It keeps me going because I know that one day that we will have over five thousand locations all across Canada and even more in the USA and Europe. This is what keeps me going. Naija Jollof as our African Mcdonalds. We currently have six locations with lots of people on waiting lists to have our franchise, people who are also having a hard time to secure funds. Securing funds for Black business is a huge challenge in Canada.

  5. As a FACE loan recipient, what was your experience with FACE like? (How did they support you?)

    They were amazing…. all Black faces in white places… They made me feel like I was valued and welcome.

  6. Now with your business having 5 locations, do you have any advice to share with POC entrepreneurs?

    Your vision is your baby, protect it at all costs! No one will see your vision but yourself. If you believe that 20 years from now you will have regrets, then do it with all your heart and soul.

  7. How do you manage it all and ensure that you aren’t spread too thin between business and family?

    It is a franchise now. I carried the kids along, we shared experiences together and I make sure to take long breaks.

Leave a comment

Rob G.C. Sobey

Board Member

Rob G.C. Sobey is a corporate director. Mr. Sobey was the President & Chief Executive Officer of Lawton’s Drug Stores Limited from 2006 until his retirement in 2014 after 25 years with Sobeys. He serves as a director of SeaFort Capital and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Sobey is Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, a member of the Queen’s Smith School of Business Advisory Board and serves on several foundation and not-for-profit boards. For his work as an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, Mr. Sobey received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He holds an undergraduate from Queen’s University, a Master of Business Administration from Babson College, and the ICD.D designation.

Denburk Reid

Board Member

Denburk Reid is the founder of Montreal Community Care Foundation (MCCF). Its mission is to empower youth by developing their leadership skills by using programs, workshops, and events, and by building bridges between communities. As the founder of MCCF, he beliefs that the youth hold the key to Montreal’s future and over the past eight (8) years, its programs have helped hundreds of Montreal youth stay on track, perform community services as well as set and achieve academic and life goals. The organization seeks to empower youth to become engaged citizens and leaders in their homes, schools, and communities. For the past five (5) years, MCCF celebrates and promotes community engagement across Montreal through the Montreal Community Cares Awards.

Along with his role as the founder of MCCF, Mr. Reid is the Founder of Red Rush Basketball & Red Rush Basketball Leadership. He has a passion for empowering youth and meeting them where they are lends to a successful outcome.

Abdikhier Ahmed​

Board Member

Mr. Ahmed is a recognized community leader in the non-profit sector with specializations in immigration and refugee resettlement, poverty reduction, and community empowerment. A dynamic, highly motivated individual with extensive experience in program development and delivery, providing strategic visioning and leadership. Over 10 years’ experience managing programs for non-profit organizations and working with communities and people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds both locally as well as internationally. Fluently multi-lingual: speaks and writes English, Swahili, Somali and basic Arabic. This experience help guide Mr. Ahmed when he was in the role of Director of Policy at the Office of Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Mr. Ahmed is currently the Executive Director of Aurora Family Therapy Centre. Aurora is a progressive, non-profit family therapy centre that offers family therapy on a sliding scale; sees clients through services funded by Manitoba Department of Families and Department of Justice; provides community building groups for Newcomers to Canada; hosts a Psycho-Social Settlement Needs Assessment program for incoming refugees; provides summer youth programming for many newcomer communities; supports its own staff and other agencies through vicarious trauma and resilience programming; develops supportive relationships with community partners, and engages in advocacy for accessible community-based therapy services for all. Aurora is in the process of becoming a Centre of Excellence in providing cross cultural therapy from a systemic lens with a special focus on psychological trauma & recovery and community development.