In August 2011, Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah was selected to represent Hiram College in the Entrepreneurship Immersion Week in Ashland University in Ohio among four other students. His group struggled to find a good business idea to compete with some of the biggest schools in Ohio such as Kent State University, University of Akron and Case Western Reserve. He realized the potential shito had due to its versatile use and his teammates agreed to pitch the concept to the judges in the final stage of the competition. He always asked himself “If Chinese food can be found globally and used by people of all walks of life, why not Ghanaian food?”. He soon realized stew would be a better idea that would be more marketable and adaptable to Americans. Today, his product is in almost 20 stores throughout Ohio as he plans on expanding to nearby states. The company is growing rapidly and have generated several thousands of dollars in sales.
Ghana is well known for it’s delicious dishes like fufuu and delicious groundnut soup or its authentic jollof rice to mention a few. The latter has been a national staple for many years and it is normally served with stew, chicken and occasionally salad. In most homes, families tend to eat kontomire stew and yam, chicken stew with rice or corn beef stew. A recent graduate of Hiram College from Ghana has figured out a formula to put stew in a bottle giving it a two-year shelf life.
His name is Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah. When he was a toddler growing up in Ghana, he loved to ask his mother several questions while she prepared various dishes such as her delicious chicken groundnut soup and her famous stew. As he grew older, he developed an appetite and a unique passion for food that he decided to select catering while he attended Ridge Church School for BECE. After graduating from Ghana Christian International High School, he enrolled into Hiram College in the United States and realized he had developed an interest in entrepreneurship. Hence, he was selected to represent his school in the Entrepreneurship Immersion Week, a competition for aspiring entrepreneurs representing schools throughout Ohio. This allowed him to pitch the idea of his mother’s sauce (stew) to a panel of judges. It is a product anyone can use as a marinade, salsa, a marinara or a cocktail sauce for shrimp. Although his team didn’t win the competition, this birthed the idea of Supreme Sauce.
Initially, he did not have the funds to start his business. So he saved up all the allowances his parents sent him as well as picking up three jobs at Hiram College’s campus such as a teaching assistant position, orientation leader and dishwasher. It took him three years of hard work and persistence to finish his business plan and raise the necessary capital. Eventually, he managed to raise about $12,000 which he used to acquire a vehicle, register his company as an LLC, develop a website, a pallet of sauce, a bar code, and a label. Ultimately, Kwamena’s goal is to share his delicious sauce with all food lovers, vegans and the diverse communities across the country.
After only a few months in the food business, his sauce is now available in almost twenty store locations throughout Ohio. Some of his biggest clients include 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. In the future, he hopes to expand his product line by including a spicier flavor of Supreme Sauce and plantain chips. Outside work, he enjoys inspiring others through the music he writes. At home, he always uses his product to eat kenkey, rice, waakye, jollof and many other Ghanaian dishes. He plans to bring the business to Ghana to create jobs and provide internships for students in secondary and tertiary institutions. He also offers internships to students in Cleveland Ohio to learn the ins and outs of starting and operating a small business.
Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah
14835 Euclid Ave
404 East Cleveland
United States of America