Home News North London Bakery Competes for Aldi Supermarket Placement with Authentic Nigerian Treats

North London Bakery Competes for Aldi Supermarket Placement with Authentic Nigerian Treats

by Celia

A family-operated bakery in North London is poised to showcase its authentic Nigerian treats on a Channel 4 competition aiming to secure placement in Aldi supermarkets. Marianne Olaleye, alongside her four sisters, manages Puff Puff Ministry, drawing from their mother’s cherished puff puff recipe. Their journey will unfold on Tuesday’s episode of “Aldi’s Next Big Thing.”

Puff puffs, reminiscent of traditional Nigerian fried dough snacks akin to doughnuts, have been a staple in the Olaleye family since their upbringing in Lagos. The sisters recognized the potential of their beloved recipe and established their baking enterprise in the UK in 2020, now headquartered in Wood Green.

For Marianne, the significance lies not only in the product but in sharing a cultural heritage. “It’s about sharing a piece of our culture and our heritage and having people experience that in real life,” she emphasized.

Discovery came via social media, with Channel 4 scouts stumbling upon their Instagram presence. Initially hesitant due to aspirations of opening their own bakery café, the family reconsidered, recognizing the opportunity to introduce their brand to a broader audience through Aldi’s extensive reach.

Their pitch to Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, received commendable feedback, validating their efforts to redefine puff puffs’ perception. Challenges presented during the pitch involved scaling up operations and adapting packaging for retail.

While awaiting the episode’s airing, the Olaleye family remains accustomed to business evolution. Amidst the pandemic’s onset, they swiftly established a nationwide postal service, delivering freshly baked puff puffs within 24 hours, a feat unmatched by competitors.

Handcrafted by the sisters, production sometimes reaches up to 900 puff puffs per day. Saturdays see an option for local collections from Karma Kitchen, a shared commercial space they utilize. As aspirations of expansion loom, including hiring staff and procuring advanced machinery for increased production, the ultimate goal remains opening a dedicated puff puff dessert café in Central London.

However, participation in the Aldi competition has spurred consideration of alternative avenues, prompting exploration of nationwide supermarket placement and international expansion possibilities.

Marianne reflects, “Going on the Aldi show has been really interesting because it’s opened us up to another possibility. We’re exploring what that could look like – could we be in supermarkets across the country? Could we go to more supermarkets outside of the UK? So those two areas really are the key things that we’re looking at for now.”

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