It Takes Passion To Succeed Restaurant Business – Chukwuebuka | Independent Newspapers Limited
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It Takes Passion To Succeed Restaurant Business – Chukwuebuka

Ezechukwu Chukwuebukajpg
Posted: Oct 2, 2016 at 3:12 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ezefula Chukwuebuka is the founder and operator of Aquinas Farm Investment Limited, a poultry farm that is based in Enugu State. He also operates a restaurant business that goes by the name of Jerry’s Corner in the Coal City. He told Ikechi Nzeako how he has fared in business and what the government should do to make the environment friendlier to business. Excerpts:


What type of business are you into?

I am into the poultry business and meat processing. I intend set up a palm plantation with the money I have raised from doing the poultry business.

How did you get into the poultry business?

It has been a passion I had since I was a child to start up a business. The idea of owning a business came when I was a student at the university. I wanted to set up restaurants in universities in the Southeastern part of Nigeria and I knew that the restaurants would need meat; that was what made me to start the poultry farm. I believe that my farm can supply meat to my restaurants.

Have you started the restaurant business?

Yes I have started the business.

What is the name of the business?

The name of the restaurant company is Jerry’s Corner.

What was the inspiration to start the restaurant business?

The inspiration came when I was a student at the university where I discovered that there were no decent eating places for the students.

I developed the idea that a decent and neat place where students could eat would be a profitable business. I knew that a student who ate a badly prepared meal in an unhygienic environment would not do well in his academics.

How has the business fared?

The business has been growing gradually. I want set up different businesses in different sectors of the economy; the idea is to grow into a conglomerate. I want to grow the business to a stage where it would sell itself. Starting from the restaurant to the poultry business and into the palm plantation; I envisage a situation in which my raw materials will be generated by me.

How are you able to manage two businesses at the same time?

I employ some people and my wife has also joined in running the business. It is like a family business.

As a restaurateur, do you cook?

I have a passion for cooking and know how to cook but I do not do the cooking myself. The knowledge of cooking and passion for cooking have made me to always taste the food before it is served to customers. I am able to attract more customers to the restaurant with that idea.

Let us return to the poultry business; the poultry business requires the services of a veterinary doctor, do you use one?

I hire one when my birds require medical attention.

How long have you been in business?

I have been in the poultry business for one year now. But I started my own poultry business I bought birds from other farmers and sold them to restaurants in the area.

How do you see the Nigerian business environment?

The Nigerian business environment is rough and tough. This is especially so for people who are just starting out. You pay this tax and that tax. You pay all manner of levies; after one group, another group will come and demand that you pay another one. These things do not allow small and medium enterprisers in the country to grow.

There many schemes that government has set up where small business owners can get fund. Have you got and funding?

I have applied for fund from the Bank of Industry but their demands are too stringent for me to meet. I want to say that no small business owner will be able to meet the conditions that the bank is demanding before it gives out loans. For example, they want to give you a loan of N3 million and they will ask to get someone who has a networth of that amount or they will ask you bring a landed property with certificate of occupancy. They should know that a small business owner who owns a piece of land with the certificate of occupancy will not be looking for a N3 million loan. These difficult conditions make it default small business owners to access loans in the country.

What can government do to help small business owners like you to grow?

Government should make access to funds easier for small business owners and make the environment business friendly.