The Medieval Egyptians of Old invented the junk food known as pizza and the Ancient Greeks "stole" it and the Italians appropriated and globalizd the delicacy to household name. When the Wolof Empire of Ancient West Africa that reigned between 1350-1549 "invented" the popular smorgasbord rice, they never knew they would gift the world what is now popularly known as Jollof rice. From pepper soup, "isi ewu" goat meat, "ikokore" to Suya, Akara, Puff-puff, Ogbono Soup and many more, the culinary repertoire of Nigerians is inexhaustible. In the early 1960s, there was a particular junction that was a must stop-by for many oppidans of Agege Local Government Area of Lagos, Nigeria. A cluster of bread sellers jostle for customers near the popular Pen Cinema and passersby and commuters patronized them in large numbers, most in the dusk after closing from work. Amid the hustling and bustling in the cavalcade of the usual Lagos traffic known as "Go Slow" the bread sellers make a kill. And soon, the name Agege Bread was born. What is peculiar to this brand? Of the four ingredients of bread, two stood out this particular bread: flour and salt. Wherever you go in Nigeria, the distinct flavor stands out and thus Agege Bread as a unique brand became popular. Today, Agege Bread has birthed in Canada, the UK and recently, I made a serendipitous discovery of this popular bread in Katy, Houston here in the Lone Star. Here is my interview with the brain behind Agege Bread, Texas: Mr. Olamiju Habeeb.
Give us a brief background of yourself: I am Mr. Olamiju Habeeb, President, Agege Farmer Market and Royal Bakery here in Katy, TX. I was born in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria, to the family of late Alhaji Jubril Habeeb of Ijebu Owo, and Madam Mojisola Dorcas Fabuluje (Nee Adetula) both of whom were entrepreneurs in their active days. I attended the famous Imade College Owo between 1986 and 1992, before proceeding to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to study Engineering Physics but, after two years I transferred to the Department of Demography and Social Statistics where I graduated with Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). After my graduation in 2002, I did a lot of work to raise funds that would enable me to try my hands on some small businesses. When eventually the opportunity came for me to move to the United States, I left Nigeria in 2008. On arriving in the U.S. I worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice between 2012 and 2014 as a Correctional Officer. I studied Processing Engineering at Houston Community College and earned my associate degree in applied science and later my Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Safety Management from the University of Houston.
When did the idea of Agege Farmers Market and Bakery begin? Have you done related business back home in Nigeria? Like I said earlier, I tried to do some small businesses in Nigeria before leaving for the United States. Here, in the U.S. though, I have worked with government departments, but my passion for entrepreneurship drove me into venturing into business. I established the Agege Farmers Market as a grocery store and meat market where we deal with the supply of food items. That also took us to engaging in food processing. The Royal Loaf and Agege Bread is a product of the idea to expand the food processing aspect of the business.
What sets apart Royal Bakery and Agege Bread? Why did you choose the name Agege Bread? I would say, the unique delicious taste of the bread and our customer relations. Agege Bread is a local franchise you know. That is what derived the motto: "We are not just a bakery, but your new best friend". While in Nigeria, I resided in the Agege area which is famous for the popular, cheap, and common type of bread, known as 'Agege Bread', usually taken with beans (Ewa Agoyin) by the masses. In most part of Nigeria, bread is synonymous with the Agege brand. This is what inspired the choice of the name. And I am confident that very soon it will be available coast to coast in the U.S.
What are the challenges you face in managing this business? Raising capital is the first major challenge. When the idea was first conceived in 2018, though, I started Agege Farmers Market in the year 2015. I was confronted with the challenge of raising the requisite capital for the bakery equipment to push the vision through. So, it was a difficult task, but with determination and perseverance, I eventually overcame the financial difficulties. Also, the high costs of maintaining labor wages is a challenge that small entrepreneurs that want to start and later improve their outputs initially face.
What assistance do you need from the government and the community in ameliorating these challenges? You know, access to credit facilities is one area businesses like ours are nurtured and to thrive government should consider reducing interest rates and lowering taxes. This is because small enterprises like ours, when relieved of the burden of costs, have the potential to provide jobs for the majority of the citizens. As you know, the largest employers of labor in the United States are small scale enterprises like ours.
What differences do you notice in running small businesses in Nigeria and here in the United States? There are marked differences. The fundamental difference is the business environment. Unlike here in the United States, Nigeria is a developing country with many structural challenges that affect the prospects of small, as well as medium and large-scale enterprises. The challenges that usually confront small businesses in Nigeria include lack of credit facilities; high interest rates, multiple taxation, high cost of production due to poor supply of electricity, decayed transport and road infrastructures, high cost of raw materials most of which are imported and policy uncertainties. But going by the promises made by the current administration in Nigeria, I expect these challenges to be surmounted soon. In the United States here, the high cost of maintaining labor and high taxes are the major challenges.
The popular Agege Bread Nigeria is going places with cross-racial appeal.
What are your plans and prospects for Royal Bakery and Agege Bread? We are positioning Royal Bakery to be a leading confectionary brand, not only in Houston, Texas where we have our bakery and the United States, but globally. Agege Bread is already a household name way back in Nigeria and soon, it will be the same in Texas and Continental U.S. As a result of this, we plan to expand our production bases and continue to satisfy consumers' appetites and demands for our products.
Your parting shots: -I would like to advise those that have the idea of venturing into small businesses to realize that it takes courage, perseverance, focus, commitment, and determination to excel. But gradually success is achieved through God's Grace and Blessings.
DURBAN SOUTH AFRICA BREAKTHROUGH 2023 IS HERE!
The Jesus Christ Solution Center Texas move its train this year to the beautiful South African City of Durban for our Annual Breakthrough 2023. We paused after our maiden Breakthrough 2020 Texas in 2020 because of the global Coronavirus Pandemic which we warned the world against as far back as 2013. On Monday October 21, 2013, we prophesied about the outbreak of the Coronavirus before the pandemic broke out. See the link: https://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/fayemiwo/102113.html ). Now there is a small window of peace before another pandemic now warming up breaks out, we bring the Eternal Good News to our brethren in the Rainbow Nation. Join Us!
GIVE YOUR LIFE TO OUR LORD, MASTER, AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST NOW!
"Jesus told them: You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8: 23-24)
The world is going mad! The people of the Noahic Age didn't perpetrate sins and abominable acts to the current astounding level in the Face of the True Lord God Almighty before He wiped that generation away with the Great Deluge. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah will protest their evisceration if the True Lord God Almighty spare this cursed and present generation from their sins. Where is the world going? The United States has confirmed that all countries in the world, in order to establish good relations with the great powers, must accept same-sex marriage (woman/woman or man/man. Germany has just signed the law that declares that there is no more incest, that is to say: brother and sister can get married, mom and son, dad, and daughter, etc. The city of Miami is now proclaimed the city of purchase of public sex. That means on the way, to church, at the mosque, at the market, at the football field, if you need sex, you can enjoy it at any time without any problem. Canada has allowed bestiality (sex with animals). In Spain: pornographic films are allowed in high school and universities. The authorization of the prostitution of minors is given. One Marg Luker of Canada states that any young girl at the age of 10 who feels sexual pleasure, no one should prevent her from exploring or finding out how her body works. Here in our Old USA Satanic churches can now operate and be legally allowed to congregate publicly under the guise of religion liberty. These are frightening days and moments in our generation. Do you see the artifices of Satan and his fallen agents across millennia using sexual perversions to destroy the human race? They did it during the Days of Noah when the Nephilim invaded the earth and consorted with women to pollute the earth. Again, they invaded the heartless people of Sodom and Gomorrah as well with this potent weapon of sexual depravity. Our Lord Jesus Christ drew analogies and parallels between these two cursed generations and our current human events: "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:37-44).
People of the world, and especially fellow believers and co-pilgrims, my fellow strangers on earth and disciples of our Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ, the end is near, the departure in Glory is approaching. Christians are being distracted and Satan and the fallen angels want to drag the maximum number of souls with them in order to remove them from divine mercy. Let's be careful. Unbelievers and non-confessors of our Lord Jesus Christ; deniers and apostates, you can still turn your life around now and today and begin on a clean slate. No matter how far you have gone and strayed away from your Creator, you can confess your sins and disobedience to your Maker now and give your life to the Owner of your life, Who is our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is not too late! If you think you will get away with your disobedience and sin against your Creator, you are sorely mistaken. Whether you like it or not, you will leave this temporary earth one day and again, whether you like it or not, you will be made to account for your deeds during the number of years you spent on this earth. Believe me, Jesus Christ is the Only Judge. Hear Him: "Furthermore, the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him" (John 5:22 & 23). The True Lord God Almighty Who incarnated in the flesh in our Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ is the Only One Who will judge you and I on the Day of Judgement "For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead" (Acts of Apostles 17:31; See also John 5:27; 9:39, Acts 10:42).
There is no other life to live apart from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Creator, believe me. He is not a prophet, He is the Lord God Almighty Himself, because He said so in John 10:30; "I and the Father are One." Again, He said in John 14:9 thus: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? There is plethora of Bible references for you to know that my Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord God Almighty Himself. So, if you think you believe in God, you must give your life to our Lord Jesus Christ, because as He again declared to us in John 14:06: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." You can give your life to Jesus Christ now! Say this prayer now using Romans 10:9-10:
"Jesus Christ, I come to You now with penitent heart and contrite spirit. I confess I am a sinner. I have been living my life the way I want, which is a rebellion against You. I know that nothing good resides in me. That is why I come to You today to forgive me of my sins and rebellion. I believe in my heart that You came to this world over 2,000 years ago. You were born by the Virgin Mary in the city of Bethlehem of Judea. You lived with us for 33 years and was sinless. Then, You went onto the Cross and died for my sins and sins of the world. Then You rose up again three days later after defeating Satan and the hordes of darkness in the nether gloom and today, you are holding the keys of death and hades in Your Hands. Jesus Christ, I confess You with my mouth as my Lord, Master, and Savior. Your Death on the Cross had paid the penalty for my sins and Your resurrection was for my justification. From today onward, I will obey, worship, and praise You. I will not live for my self-centered and egoistical life anymore. I will do what You want me to do. I will serve You for the remainder years of my life. I will tell others about You and witness to others about Your love and works of redemption and finished work on Calvary. Take me as Your Own. Seal me with the Holy Spirt. Enable me to do what You have created me for on this earth. Use me for Your Glory Jesus Christ and let me live my full life span. Let me fulfill my destiny and after I have accomplished the purpose for which You created me and sent me to this earthly temporary realm, I will return to You as the Shepherd of my spirit and soul reign with You in Your Kingdom for eternity in Your Holy Name, Amen."
It is done now. You are saved and are now a child of the Living God. He is your father from now onward. Pray that this Jesus Christ will direct you to a Holy Spirit-filled and Word-based Church in your neighborhood where you can join other believers to grow in your new faith from now on. Please be careful you do not keep company with your former friends and crowds so they will not draw you back to your former ways of life. Remember the Holy Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come The old has gone, the new is here!" Remember you confessed your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He forgave you, because He cannot lie. Make sure you do not renege on our vows never to commit those sins again. Find a Bible believing Church and tell the pastor or shepherd there that you have just given your life to our Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ and you want him to walk you through walking the Christian Walk. Hallelujah! Tell him I sent you and if moved by the Holy Spirit to contact me, shoot me an email: [email protected]. Congratulations and welcome to the family of the Living God!
JOIN US AT E-CONGREGATION CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY BIBLE CLASSES
Now that you have accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ which He truly is, you need to saturate yourself with the Word of God so you can grow in your new faith. You need to change and renew your mind with the Words of God which are contained in the Greatest Book on earth given to humanity as a compass to navigate our paths in this Satanically-controlled and demon-infested earth following the fall of our First Parents in the Garden of Eden. That Book is the Holy Bible. The three basic reason for this is that the secular education has been totally corrupted by Satan hence, the Holy Spirit commanded us in Romans 12: 2:" Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will." You cant discover His Will for your life now that you are one of His Own until you read His Word. Second, there is a spiritual war afoot and in the not-too-distant Time Street over your life now that you are a child of the King. Satan and his demons, including their human agents will fight to bring you back to their cursed and darkened kingdom. You need to know how to fight through the deployment of the Word of God, because from now onward, "… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:12-17). Thirdly, you need the Word of God for good success according to Joshua 1:8: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
We will love you to join our weekday Bible Class from Monday to Friday. Our normal E-Congregation Assembly Bible Classes at Cameron TX Zoom Link still is this:- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87942253858?pwd=N2EzZ2I5aGUvTFQzNWdPRzVQem9pdz09
Time: 3:30pm Texas Time/4:30pm New York EST/10:30pm Nigeria/12:30am following day in Kenya. Its 4:30pm EST in the United States. Click this link for your Time Zone https://dateful.com/world-clock
We would love to see and welcome you to our midst. We are drawn from four Continents of Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia at our 5-Day Monday to Friday Bible Classes and be rest assured there is a seat waiting for you among the children of the Most High God. Our Teacher is the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-16) and all of us are His children and students. You are blessed as we anticipate your congregation with us in Jesus Mighty Name Amen.
https://tocu.education/ and https://tocu.online/. You can also visit our websites at: -