Innovation START UPS

Supreme Sauce – How a Ghanaian Startup Is Rapidly Growing in the U.S

Supreme Sauce is a taste of ‘Ghana’ in a spicy tomato-based sauce and marinade with habanero and green peppers and onion

He identified a need, like all entrepreneurs do, and established Supreme Sauce, what we locally call Shito. But his is not the Shito we know because Americans aren’t too keen on eating black coloured food, Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah, the Chief Executive Officer of Supreme Sauce told Pulse Business. His is a sauce with preservatives to last long on the shelves.

Takyi-Micah knew he’d be an entrepreneur when his first business in Senior High School failed. Rather than deflate him, that first failure urged him on.

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The failed project was a t-shirt with “Everest Customs” written on the back. Everest Customs didn’t work too well.

Then in August 2011, he was selected to lead a team of four people from his school, Hiram College, in the US in an entrepreneurship contest at Ashland University in Ohio.

His team struggled to come up with an idea, until he suggested the Shito concept, but it failed to impress the panel even though his school were the defending champions.

“I came up with the concept of shito because my girlfriend liked shito very much and she is an American and so we wanted to test the market to see if it will work. And so we used it in the competition but unfortunately we didn’t win,” he said.

“I was very disappointed we didn’t win. I was hoping that we’d win because we had a good idea. You know, the idea of shito in America. But then again when you experience setbacks and disappointments, it also inspires you to chase you dreams and that is what I did,” he added.

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After the contest, he shuffled between four jobs, and also from friends and family, to raise $12, 000 to start Supreme Sauce.

Currently, Supreme Sauce has a staff strength of three including himself. “We have a photographer on contract, we have the distribution manager, he is in charge of the New York area, he brings contracts, he brings potential clients”, he said.

Supreme Sauce has for some time now been conducting market feasibility studies in Ghana as part of plans to expand here, Takyi-Micah said.Unknown-1

The sauce is now in about forty shops, chains and restaurants in the US. They include Heinen’s Jungle Jim’s, Zagara’s Marketplace, Krieger’s Health Food Market, Pepper’s Market, Gibb’s Butcher Block and Narrin’s Spices and Sauce in the Westside Market.

Takyi-Micah grew up in Accra, and went to Ridge Church School. He enrolled into Hiram College in the US after graduating from Ghana Christian International High School.

At one point in life, he had wanted to become a lawyer but he’s now focused on entrepreneurial ideas

Source: Vanguard

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