TWO ENTREPRENEURIAL siblings who founded an innovative Nigerian tapas lounge in London have won a £2000 cash prize from Virgin, which, they say, will help them set up a permanent site for their restaurant.
Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, owners of Chuku’s, attended Virgin Media Pioneers #GEW2016 masterclasses to hone their recently acquired knowledge and skills from our small business experts to show how they will make their business #VOOM in November.
They were asked to upload the pledges they made at our masterclasses and update Virgin on their progress over the two weeks following the event.
The winner who demonstrated the most progress won the cash prize.
“Congratulations Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick of Chuku’s,” Virgin said. “The brother and sister duo who run the world’s first Nigerian tapas lounge got a lot of work done in November.”
Emeka said of the win: “We have been working hard all year to grow the business but these last couple of months we really dug deep to push ourselves to set Chuku’s up for an even better 2017. Winning the Virgin Media Pioneers competition is humbling recognition for our efforts. £2,000 will go a long way in setting up our first ever permanent site. It feels like Christmas has come early!”
The siblings, who are half-Nigerian and half-Grenadian, were brought up in the Essex East-London area (Ilford) and have had a passion for cooking from a young age. “I’ve always wanted to be a chef and I remember myself and Ifey (Ifeyinwa) cooking up some interesting things,” Emeka told Black Ballad.
Ifeyinwa, a Cambridge graduate, said of the menu at Chuku’s, “which means higher power in the Igbo language”, “The menu is inspired from the cooking experiences and memories from our childhood, but also very much inspired by the fact that we are part of the diaspora. We’ve travelled a fair bit and we were inspired by the places that we visited, so that’s reflected in our menu.
She added: “Emeka and I are big fans of Quinoa, so instead of jollof rice we did jollof quinoa.”