IYAKAN shares her 32 Years experience in ‘Mama put’ business

Sanni Omobukola

Famous Mrs. Taibat Abioye of Iya kan canteen in Alapere, Agboyi Ketu, Kosofe shares her experience

With no clear trace to the origin of “Mama Put” in Nigeria, these local canteens serve as major Nigerian food selling sector and known for it’s wide patronage amongst the common people, low, middle and high income earners as well as the local commercial riders.

Mama put offers tasty meals considerably cheap and tasty enough to win the heart of many Nigerians who can only afford pricey restaurants during special occasions.

Mrs. Taibat Abioye from Oyo State, Owner of Iya kan food canteen in Alapere area of Lagos shares her experience in food canteen business.

How long have you been in this business ?

I have been in the business since childhood but have spent 32 years in this Alapere area.

What was the motivation to start this business ?

It’s in the blood! I have learnt this business from my elder ones. I see them do it and become prosperous in it. I observed and learnt from them and then improved my own style. They only sell Amala (Yam flour) and Pounded Yam (Iyan) but I sell varieties such as fried rice, jollof rice, porridge and the rest of them.

How do you maintain quality food and food hygiene?

I don’t use rotten tomatoes, I use fresh ones. I cook imported rice and we buy healthy cows tested from abattoir. I check the ingredients expiry dates before purchase and I instruct my staff to do same when they also go to the market.

How do you keep this Environment clean?

We wash this place everyday and sweep as much as required.

Does any government agency visits to check this environment?

Agents from Ministry of Health visit regularly to check the environment and we have always comply with rules and regulations.

What kind of water do you use?

We have tankers that supply us quality water for cooking every morning while we use borehole to do the cleaning and washing of the surroundings.

How have you been maintaining your customers?

We are able to earn and sustain their trust through our receptiveness. The quality of our food and good attitude. I ensure none of my staff fights with any customer and promote peaceful co-existence.

What are the challenges with this business?

There is no smooth journey, everything has not been rosy. There was a time some people were saying we spread corns, they spread all sort of rumours about us but since we haven’t done anything wrong, here we are today waxing stronger.

How have you been coping during the pandemic?

Food is essential and everyone eats no matter the situation. Although the pandemic affected everyone but we have been coping with little or no set back.

Do you regret starting this business ?

I have no regrets whatsoever. This is a good business that has been taking care of me and my family. I don’t have a special “soup pot” at home. I eat here, so does everyone working here, including my family and visitors when I have one.

Do you have any message for potential customers and the regular ones ?

Everyone enjoys my food. It is well cooked with good ingredients. You can as well come and try it and you will be glad you did. We are presently at 19B Oluwakemi Street, Alapare area of Lagos State.

Iya kan food canteen in Alapere area of Lagos State, is well known for it’s large customer base and have maintain it’s dignity over the years.