Our special Rubies & Potters guest on FamilyRubies today is Arike Ishola of Arike’s Kitchen.
Rubies & Potters is a section on our blog where we bring to you great minds doing great things!
We’re taking time out to celebrate them and showcase them to the world in our own beautiful way.
Join this train, let’s do this together.
Good day Arike, where are you originally from and where do you currently reside.
Good day readers, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria but I currently reside in Columbus, Ohio USA
What is your faith?
I am a Christian
When is your birthday?
I was born December 14, 1990 to be precise.
Tell us a little about your educational background.
I attended Childville School in Ogudu, Lagos. After that, I went on to attend Christ the Redeemers College in Sagamu, Ogun state. I was only there for two years before relocating to Columbus. I completed High School at Groveport Madison Columbus, Ohio and then went on to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Services at The University of Toledo.
Arike, what do you do for a living?
I currently work for a Fortune 100 company here in Columbus, Ohio as a Business Analyst while on the side, I manage a catering and event planning business popularly known as Arike’s Kitchen
Who or what inspired Arike’s kitchen?
Arike’s Kitchen was inspired by my late aunty – my dad’s younger sister. Her passion for food and her drive towards life generally was something that I was exposed to at an early age, I looked up to her in so many ways. Her passion for food being at the top! At the University, I noticed that there weren’t any services providing home cooked meals to African students, so I decided to offer that service – that was really the birth of Arike’s Kitchen. Since then, some changes have been made to the brand, I went ahead to add an event planning wing to it since I also have that passion. Currently, I have downsized from full blown catering to mostly events, cocktails and small chops. As the holiday season is upon us, I have just launched a holiday gift box that offers three flavors of chin chin (vanilla, chocolate and coconut). It’s a great gift idea for families, individuals, corporations and houses of worship who want to gift their clients and ministers alike. It’s currently available on the website – www.arikeskitchen.com
(By the way, we have tasted Arike’s Kitchen three flavor chinchin, it is dope! Try it!)
There are few young people your age who are doing what you do, combining a full time job with a full time business, this is demanding. Tell us what it has been like for you combining these two amongst other things.
Well, it definitely has not been easy. Sometimes after working a full day, I barely change from my work clothes before I need to cook for an event or mail out holiday gift packages. Though stressful, it has been very rewarding as well because I’m able to push myself out of my comfort zone. Really push my mental and physical capability sometimes. By the grace of God, I have been able to pull through!
Do you think living here in the US has contributed to the success of Arike’s Kitchen?
Hmmm… This is a tricky question because, since I have never really done business in Nigeria or anywhere else I can only answer positively to this question. I feel sometimes though, that Arike’s Kitchen would be better off in Nigeria based on what I see online and what people have told me but I have also come to the conclusion that since I’m here presently and I haven’t been given a release to relocate back to Nigeria, I need to make the best of what has been given to me. So yes, living in the States has definitely helped – exposure to knowledge, resources etc. But if I’m to relocate to Nigeria or anywhere else tomorrow, I also believe I will be successful there as long as its God led!
Are you married?
*Singing**, “I am married to Jesus, Satan leave me alone” hehehe (
What impact has being single at this time had on your business and career?
Being single has been a blessing in this season of my life and career. It has definitely helped me to focus! Sometimes, I look at my married friends and wish to have a life as they do, but almost too quickly, God snaps me out of that mindset and redirects my focus to alllllll he has placed in my hands and I realize that I possibly may not be able to handle being married with all that I am tied up with (Work and Arike’s Kitchen take up maybe 45% of my time). I am very busy with other projects, relationships and commitments as well. When the time for marriage comes, I’m sure I will either be given the wisdom to let some things go or my husband would help me manage those other responsibilities as well.
Tell us about a memorable day as the CEO of Arike’s Kitchen.
A memorable day would be last year during the Holiday season. I had launched the Holiday shop and we were getting orders for the “Joy Package” – Last year’s holiday gift box. I was to catch a flight to Miami that evening but I also had so many orders to fulfill. In fact, during the packaging and trying to fulfill these orders, I knew that there was a possibility of missing my flight. The more time I spent at home packing these orders, the higher chances of me missing my flight but I had resolved that these packages needed to be delivered on time no matter the consequence. Anyway, on the way to the airport I made a detour to drop the packages off at the post office and was already crying small tears because of the possibility of spending an unbudgeted $200 to book another ticket due to a missed flight. On getting to the airport, I realized that my flight was actually delayed by 2 hours! I wanted to dance and scream. I remember that day because I knew that though Arike’s Kitchen is still growing, I needed to go through that experience for future employees. Integrity is key! If you have given a word, follow through. I could have come up with an excuse for my clients, after all I was just going to Miami for the weekend and their package would have arrived maybe 2 days late (not too bad right?) Well, not in Arike’s Kitchen. Except things that happen that are beyond control, Integrity will continue to remain an integral foundation of my business.
What impact have your parents and siblings had on your career?
They have been VERY supportive. They help constantly. I am very grateful.
Describe yourself in one word
What motivates you?
My unborn children (This is a lady married to Jesus by the way…#whistling)
Who are your mentors?
I do not have any official mentors. What I do is surround myself with people that I genuinely look up to and tap from them. So if you are one of my frequently contacted people, you are probably a mentor of some sort to me. Lol
Your favorite life quote?
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.
What are your aspirations in the next 5years?
I hope to be married and have my twins lol. I would also like to be established in business and ministry. Dutifully supporting my husband, investing in people through mentoring and financing while also raising my twins!
Arike, do you have any political ambition?
Nah. God hasn’t said anything about that one to me oh.
A word for the Nigerian youth who has a dream, but is frustrated because the system is not working like it works here in the US…
Well, the good news is if you can make it work in Nigeria, you probably can make it work anywhere else in the world. See Nigeria as an intense training ground but do not run away to another country assuming it would be better there if you haven’t been led by God. There are struggles EVERYWHERE. Don’t let Hollywood fool you. Be diligent, stay focused, build a stable brand, know yourself, Integrity is Key. Though this may sound “spiritual” (Some guy called me “spirikoko” the other day, issokay its working for me lol). Build a relationship with God. I tell people all the time that I am a spoiled child of God, I just follow His lead. With Him you can NEVER lose and life becomes easier. He will bring that dream of yours to fruition if it’s ordained by Him. All you have to do is just follow His lead.
I would like to thank FamilyRubies for this opportunity! Thanks for the Interest in Arike’s Kitchen and myself. I am very grateful!
Thanks for gracing our blog Arike.
Long live Arike’s Kitchen!!!
All Photo credit to Arike’s Kitchen
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More shots from Arike’s Kitchen