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Unveiling the Story Behind Tileyi Brands

In the bustling world of food entrepreneurship, tales of inspiration often stem from personal experiences intertwined with a burning desire to solve a prevalent problem. Such is the captivating narrative behind Tileyi Brands, a pioneering circular agri-processing company making waves in the Canadian culinary scene. Aramide Taiwo, the founder of Tileyi Brands and a LiftOff Launcher from cohort 2 of the LiftOff program, recently shared the remarkable journey behind the brand's inception and its distinctive approach to the industry.


The Genesis of Tileyi Brands

The genesis of Tileyi Brands can be traced back to a profound realization while operating an online food market called Pantry Errands. Our conversation commenced with Aramide reflecting on the pivotal moment that ignited the spark for this culinary venture. "The story of Tileyi Brands started a few years ago, when I was running an online food market called Pantry Errands, where we sell specialty and some other local frozen, and fresh produce as well," she began.


What emerged as a recurrent theme in customer inquiries was a longing for a particular meat item – cow skin, renowned for its distinctive flavor and texture, predominantly found in regions across Africa. Despite its availability in Canada, legal restrictions rendered it contraband, leaving diaspora communities yearning for the taste of home. "People come asking for it. They wanted the particular flavor texture that was from home," Aramide explained.




Empowering Multi-Ethnic Cuisine

Driven by a fervent desire to bridge this culinary gap, Aramide embarked on a journey of research and development, delving into regulatory requirements, supply chain intricacies, and the inherent challenges of replicating an authentic cultural delicacy. However, it wasn't until an opportune moment presented itself through a circular opportunity competition that the vision for Tileyi Brands gained momentum.


"There was a circular opportunity competition, and I put in for that with the problem I was trying to solve. And turns out that this was a big enough problem," Aramide recounted. The convergence of consumer demand for authentic ethnic cuisine and the beef industry's struggle with surplus byproducts served as the catalyst for Tileyi Brands' emergence.


Securing a grant through the competition provided the initial impetus for Tileyi Brands to embark on its mission of producing multi-ethnic meat products using byproducts from the beef industry. Collaborating with academic institutions like the University of Guelph and Conestoga College facilitated the development of prototypes, laying the foundation for what would soon become a trailblazing enterprise in the realm of culinary innovation.


Authenticity in Every Bite: Setting Tileyi Brands Apart

As our conversation unfolded, it became evident that Tileyi Brands' differentiation in the market transcended mere product offerings. "So, what sets us apart is we are the only ones doing this right now in Canada and we are going to be the first licensed edible hide producer in Canada," Aramide asserted. Unlike clandestine competitors, Tileyi Brands adheres to stringent regulatory standards, ensuring the authenticity and safety of its products.


Furthermore, Tileyi Brands' deep-rooted connection to its cultural heritage sets it apart in an industry often characterized by commodification. "This is not something we stumbled upon, this our ancestral food, this is our tradition," Aramide emphasized. Drawing from personal experiences and familial culinary traditions, Tileyi Brands encapsulates the essence of multi-ethnic cuisine, resonating with diaspora communities longing for a taste of familiarity.


From Milestones to Impact: The Journey of Tileyi Brands

As Tileyi Brands continues to carve its path in the culinary landscape, Aramide graciously shared insights into the remarkable milestones achieved since its inception. Reflecting on the journey thus far, Aramide shed light on the significant strides made in revenue generation, job creation, and partnership establishment.


"The first measure of success would actually be launching to retail, launching to consumers will be the first milestone," Aramide asserted. However, preceding this pivotal moment lies a foundational achievement – obtaining the coveted license to operate as the first Black female meat processing plant in Ontario. This historic milestone symbolizes not only a triumph for Tileyi Brands but also a beacon of empowerment for marginalized communities.


Reflecting on the significance of this achievement, Aramide remarked, "It means that for all these years, we've not been a partaker of that industry, we've just been putting our money in." By shattering barriers and blazing a trail in the meat processing sector, Tileyi Brands paves the way for increased representation and economic empowerment within traditionally marginalized communities.


Reimagining Success Beyond Financial Metrics

Beyond economic indicators, Tileyi Brands aspires to redefine success through the creation of sustainable employment opportunities. Drawing inspiration from the adage,


Black is beautiful when Black is powerful, and Black is powerful when Black has the power of economy.

Aramide emphasized the transformative power of economic autonomy.


In the dynamic realm of entrepreneurship, success transcends mere financial metrics, encompassing a myriad of personal and qualitative milestones that reflect the essence of purpose-driven endeavors. As Tileyi Brands embarks on its transformative journey, Aramide eloquently articulated the multifaceted dimensions of success, underscoring the brand's unwavering commitment to impact and empowerment.


Conclusion

The journey of Tileyi Brands serves as a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when passion, purpose, and resilience converge. With each milestone achieved and each barrier overcome, Tileyi Brands emerges as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path toward a future defined by diversity, equity, and shared prosperity. In essence, the success of Tileyi Brands transcends mere financial metrics, encompassing a holistic vision of empowerment, representation, and community impact.



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