This Nigerian Immigrant Based Her Startup On Her Mother’s Loving Words: ‘Have You Eaten?’

Born in Lagos Nigeria, Toyin Kolawole was fortunate to have a very entrepreneurial mother, who exposed her to a variety of startup businesses as a child. These experiences have paid off, as Toyin was recently selected for Forbes The Next 1000 2021.

Toyin’s startup, Iya Foods, is introducing West African flavors to American palates, in the form of everyday American staples. Just as Starbucks adds Nigerian Hibiscus to make its Passion Tea, Toyin is spicing up traditional American dishes, such as pancakes, bread and muffins, with flavorful, West African ingredients.

Three Loving Words: “Have you eaten?”

John Greathouse: Toyin – great to connect with you. You were born and

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