My name is Omeche Julia Agada. I am the 7th child of Chief and Mrs Silva Ameh. Happily married with 3 kids. I hail from Ipari-Otukpa, Benue State. I was born in Makurdi, Benue to Mr and Mrs Audu. I attended a couple of schools while growing up. I started at Makurdi International School, then to Air Force Primary School, Victoria Island Lagos. Secondary school was at Federal Government Girls’ College Gboko. Tertiary institution was at University of Abuja, Gwagwalada where I obtained my first degree in Economics. I went on to obtain my Masters in Business Administration,Webster University, Missouri, USA. I’m a caterer, a baker to be precise. I run a small bakery in Abuja called MechysCuppies.
HOW IT STARTED
While growing up, I remember my mum used to bake pastries like meatpies, buns etc. She also had a friend in Makurdi she used to bake cakes with. She would bake our( my siblings and I)birthday cakes with her friends and anytime she brought them home I would just keep admiring the cakes. Over the years as I grew, i developed interests in baking. I also had a British neighbour that baked really lovely cakes so I had the chance to learn a lot from her. So my love for cakes and pastries made me develop more interests . I started off baking for my family and friends at home and then gradually I saw myself baking for others who had tasted my cakes somehow, that was when I decided going commercial.
It was what I did at my spare time. I baked for hours trying out new recipes, watching videos on YouTube about techniques in cake decorating.
I started off baking for my family and friends at home with the little oven we had at home for the family and with their encouragement and support, gradually I saw myself baking for others who had tasted my cakes somehow. This continued for a while. After some years, when I resigned my job ( from an investment company, I started baking again. I would bake at home for friends and get paid. Then I decided to go commercial and make it a profession . I remember vividly the day I drove to UTC to print some stickers and fliers.
I worked from home for some years, then I opened a cafe in the heart of Abuja for a number of years which I closed down for some reasons but I would still baked at home for my clients. It was a small cafe that served variety of Cakes, ice cream, tea/coffee. We also catered to all types of occasions and events. While running the cafe, I took some online courses and also took some courses abroad
So in December 2020, I decided to get a pick up/ Ordering location in the city centre. Presently I operate two places. The factory and the pick up/ Ordering store.
I look up to so many people in the industry. In Nigeria, I have quite a number of them.
I’m also inspired by lots of bakers around the world.
There are always challenges. I think the first one I struggled or still struggling with is space. Baking needs a lot of space and I don’t think till now I have a what I have always pictured in my head. Another one is getting to deal with staff, also all the overheads you have to deal with having a store in Abuja. I’m sure my Abuja people can relate
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS
My dream is to own a known well established bakery in Abuja. Also to venture into bread making/ Ice cream production. I would say my fear is having to deal with all that comes with running a huge establishment but I continue to rely on God most High for strength and all it takes!
Baking has impacted my life in so many ways. It has connected me with so many people as I get to cater/attend to events. It has also brought out the creative side of me. I get to create and learn more decorating techniques. I have also developed a business mindset. I’m opened to lots of business ideas now and diversifying into other areas. It has also helped me develop some skills.
It has also been a source of income.
In a few years to come, I see myself running a well established and seamless bakery. Also having
Outlets in other cities in Nigeria. Having an institution where I’m able to pass knowledge to other upcoming bakers as I get a lot of enquiries now on tutoring.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITORS
What differentiates me is being able to develop my own recipes. We try to work with everyone that walks into MechysCuppies. We have different products to suit everyone’s budget. We also aim and we strive to please everyone we do business with although we know it’s difficult to please everyone.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Rome wasn’t built in a day and never forget the days of your little beginning! Always strive for the best and have patience.
LIFE IN BRIEF
Omeche Julie Agada is a baker who hails from Ipari-Otukpa, Benue State. Her passion for baking started at an early age learning from her mother who always used to bake for the family. As she gradually over the years turned her passion into trade she speaks of how fulfilling it has been for her. INTERVIEW BY SAM EGWU