If saying Ultimate Seasonings makes your mouth water, you are not alone! Julie and Albert Ndjee are a young Cameroonian couple who have founded a food company based in Maryland that supplies healthy African meals ready to take out. VOA English to Africa reporter Angel Tabe asked Julie Ndjee how they go about it.
“We specialize in promoting African products, making more people aware about it. African foods are very healthy; we took upon creating a base that would facilitate [preparation]…. “
She says the target consumers, who are first and second generation Americans, are familiar with the foods and flavors but have neither the time nor the knowledge of how to prepare them.
“When we offer these bases, all you need is one ingredient to make it a jollof rice or peanut stew to serve over rice…. It’s quick African food with all the original ingredients…healthy, fast, African food. “
Ultimate Seasonings, Ndjee says, will also serve African menus in take out bars in local supermarkets. She says seeds are difficult to import, but the African Growth and Opportunities Act, AGOA, has facilitated business for them.
“There’s been a lot of benefit bringing in products without the tariffs, and we were able to identify organizations to connect with American businesses, and we are getting a lot of support from the American government. Concerned about preventing the waste of raw materials in her industry.”
Ndjee says Ultimate Seasonings is working to have perishable products conserved properly.
“We‘re going to have African suppliers learn different methods of preserving…package them nicely to give a good shelf life, being more organized into co-operatives…so that there can be food, not just in the West, but also within the continent.”
She encourages those in the food industry and others to consider the business as very viable. Ndjee says their background in business law and political science, as well as experience working in financial systems, made things a lot easier for them, helping identify and reach out to clientele.
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