Ifaseyi Amusan has fond memories of growing up with a grandmother who had a big, beautiful garden despite living in south Fort Worth, Texas, an area known for high crime and gang activity. Her grandmother also enjoyed using the bountiful treasures that grew, turning them into meals for her family. The kitchen was truly the heart of her grandmother’s home. Ifaseyi may have inherited her love of cooking from her grandmother, but her son, Onifade R.E. Amusan, inherited her love of baking. At a young age, Onifade was eager to be in the kitchen alongside his mother. Over the years, she has been his biggest cheerleader in fostering his passion for baking and encouraging him to progress in his craft. Now at 15, he just opened his own brick and mortar location called Onifade’s Cookie Company.
We’ll visit with both about their passion for providing good food and tasty treats as well as their business partnership as a mother and son duo!
TK: As a professional chef yourself, I imagine you being in the kitchen a lot with your son by your side. Tell me a little about when you first noticed your son loved to bake.
Ifaseyi: He was only a few months old when he started “helping” me in the kitchen. And when he was a little older, he could get out of his crib and make his way to the kitchen to be with me!
TK: You are a parent who has encouraged your child to make a mess in the kitchen, have fostered his love of learning and now support him as he opens a business. At what point did you decide to help him take that next step to start this business?
Ifaseyi: When he was 6, he wanted to pay his way to travel to Nigeria to see where his family came from and decided to do that through cookie sales. It took him a little while to perfect the recipes, and then he was ready for that next step. He started his small business selling cookies to friends and neighbors, and even graduated to having a Pop-Up Shop in downtown Tulsa. Then, we decided to enter the Kitchen 66 Program together. It has been a great resource for learning how to build a business and take it to the next level.
TK: You mentioned that he attended classes with you at Kitchen 66. Tell us about that and why that program was beneficial.
Ifaseyi: Kitchen 66 program is great to go through because you get to play with your concept. Even from the beginning, Onifade had his cookies in the General Store at the Mother Road Market (part of Kitchen 66). Every week we had educational classes, and there were so many resources available. The test kitchen is also available to play with recipes. Everyone in the program is very helpful and wants to see you succeed.
TK: You call Onifade your Miracle Man. Why?
Ifaseyi: He came at 29 weeks. He spent two months in NICU. He’s always had a great personality and spirit about him!
TK: Can you share your advice for going into business as a mother and son duo?
Ifaseyi: You have to have the right spirit to go into business together. We respect each other’s talents, and we play off each other a lot. We have fun!
TK: Why did you decide to take his baking from a hobby to a business?
Ifaseyi: He was ready and wanted to do it! He is business-minded and really determined. He wanted to go through the Kitchen 66 Program, and I knew he could do it. That program provided us with some great tools to take his next step.
TK: I understand that you’re going to have Mommy and Me classes in your event space. Tell us about those classes.
Ifaseyi: Since my son and I have been a Mommy and Me for a long time, we thought this would be the perfect way to encourage the next generation of bakers. The classes will be fun, interactive, and the kids will leave with a sense of accomplishment having made their own treats. It will be open to ages 9 – 12. You can sign up for these workshops on our Facebook page.
TK: When do you remember first being in the kitchen? How did you gravitate toward baking?
Onifade: I was around 3 or 4 years old, and I remember making cookies and waiting for them to bake, thinking that it took forever! I loved being in the kitchen with my mom and trying different recipes.
TK: Tell us about your tag line, “Changing the world one cookie at a time.”
Onifade: I came up with this when I was 8 years old. I really wanted to be able to help in my own way. I bake and sell my cookies, but my mom encouraged me to give extra cookies to the homeless, and I have seen how much this means to them.
For the complete article got to: www.tulsakids.com