Founded by Ian Cohan-Shapiro, a Google employee and a Fulbright Scholar and Tosin Osibodu, formerly of AppNexus and Wayfair.com, Nigerianfoods.com is a service that delivers the largest selection of Nigerian ingredients to all 50 US States.
According to Tosin, Nigerianfoods.com guarantees delivery of the largest selection of Nigerian ingredients to all 50 US states and thereby save buyers the trip to the African store so they can spend more time cooking. The platform also aims to save users the stress of looking for ingredients they want.
“I was in a cold isolated place – Dartmouth in Hanover, NH – for grad school. I craved Nigerian food but the nearest African shop was three hours away,” says Tosin. “This wasn’t surprising but what was surprising was how other isolated Nigerians were solving this problem. They were either packing extra suitcases from home, begging friends and family to send them stuff, or making hour-long trips just for minutes of shopping.”
“We were amazed that Nigerians worked so hard to get Nigerian food. Since a lot of Nigerians in the U.S. live away from metros with Nigerian stores, we asked ourselves, “how can we make it dead simple for all U.S. Nigerians to get the food they want?” Instead of going to search for ingredients, they should come to you—just like other products online. We founded NigerianFoods.com to deliver the widest selection of Nigerian ingredients to anyone anywhere in the U.S,” said Tosin.
The site works simply.
You visit the site, add the ingredients you want to your cart, and they show up at your door a few days later. Very simple. Tosin says orders are coming and growing quickly. The platform has both its own inventory and as well works as a marketplace.
“We’re laser-focused on making sure that we have the broadest selection of ingredients and that we can get them delivered to whoever orders. We’ll do whatever it takes to get our customers the Nigerian food they want,” Tosin says.
Now self-funded from their life savings and some friends and family, Ian says the firm has not seen much in the way of competition as some other sites are focused on serving broader African tastes but Nigerianfoods.com is dedicated to building a site devoted to Nigerian foods. The firm plans to offer more Nigerian content and foster a community that preserves and evangelizes Nigerian food abroad.
Tosin says the Nigerian market has received them with both joy and surprise.
“For a lot of Nigerians, our service saves them a big headache in staying connected to the food they love. Some people are also surprised when they see products they hadn’t tasted since they were kids (like Chocomilo