If you’re looking for a great event to attend this summer, you should check out Travelling Dishes from Aunty Dupe’s Buka. Musing with Mo was very lucky enough to sit down with the founder and creator of Aunty Dupe’s Buka, Dupe Adedeji and here is what she had to say.
In your own words could you describe what Aunty Dupe’s Buka is all about and what Travelling Dishes is also about?
Aunty Dupe’s Buka is all about my love for cooking and hosting people. Travelling dishes is the avenue I am using to promote Nigerian food to a larger and more diverse audience such as Canadians and other non-Nigerians. It also involved bringing the food to different places such as a more contemporary and corporate audience. It is about making food mobile and more accessible. To publicize Nigerian food to people outside of Nigeria.
How did you come up with the name and inspiration behind the brand?
Aunty Dupe’s Buka is a name that was coined by my family and friends when I moved to Edmonton about four years ago. I have always enjoyed cooking and have always had a flair for cooking, so when I moved and started posting pictures of the food I made on my Snapchat and Instagram page I would get comments from family and friends both online and in person about the images. I then started tagging my food pictures with the name #AuntyDupesBuka. The business Aunty Dupe’s Buka became more official in March 2019. Things just seemed to click for me. As I stated I always knew I liked cooking for people, getting people together and entertaining them and this was something I saw was slightly lacking in my environment, especially being new to the city and all. Therefore, with the encouragement from my followers and friends, I saw an opportunity and decided to go for it.
The term ‘Buka’ in the name refers to a local eatery back home in Nigeria. For me, Nigerian cooking is a whole experience which consists of eating and lots of conversations with total strangers over good food. Thus, the ‘Buka’ in the name represents the fun and lively atmosphere we hope to create rather than the ‘Mama Put’ type of restaurant.
How did you go about starting your brand?
Firstly, I ensured to carry out extensive research. I started googling and researching on how to get certified which I did. Research is something you really must do if you really want something. It was great having people reach out to me for example when CBC contacted me to cover our first ever tasting event with Travelling Dishes. However, the preliminary research is so important because it gives me a picture and a vision in my head which I can then follow and attempt to bring to reality. So, I knew that getting my license and all the legal stuff sorted would be necessary if I planned to go mainstream. So, I looked into getting insurance and registering the business and all that. Once that was ready, I started reaching out to people who could help me advertise and learning how to use social media as a driving tool. I was quite fortunate that I had a great support with people sharing and re-sharing to promote the business.