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How I became an Igbo Suya chef – Meet CEO of Felix Kitchen

Despite all odds, a young man who decided not to give up has shared his journey on how he is heading toward success as a Suya chef.

Felix Eden, a determined young man in his early 20s and CEO of Felix Kitchen, lived and ate with the Hausas to learn how to be a proper Suya man.

In this exclusive interview, Felix Eden shares his exciting journey with Adedoyin Adebisi. From how he balances his education with his business and how he started his growing firm.

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Felix Eden comes from a poor background in Anambra, where he had to fend for himself and even help out if he could as the first-born male child. His dad had a barbing salon where he decided to manage in 2016 after roaming about for many years without getting a job and not enrolling in a school.

However, in 2017 his shop suddenly caught fire, so while he was preparing to go back to barbing after the disaster, his father suggested he try something else by opening a restaurant.

The young man took heed to his dad’s advice and started a business but later decided to sell suya.

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How I started Suya

After a firm decision to invest in suya business, Felix sought professional advice from a Hausa man. After much cajoling, he sealed a deal with the Hausa man and agreed to get his cut daily.

“I told him I was going to open my own shop and all he has to do is to manage it for me. He agreed and he started working for me,” he said.

However, after many months Felix decided to learn how to make this meat because the man he had employed eventually showed signs of unseriousness, so he decided to manage the business himself, but first, he needed to learn how to make Suya.

The young man was admitted to a university where he met Hausas, who were not accommodating initially and refused to teach him how to do the meat. Eventually, his determination and zeal to learn made the northerners accept him as one of their own.

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After three years of living and dining with them, Felix finally became his own boss regarding Suya making. He started little by little in school until he was known for it.

How I balance my education and business

The CEO of Felix Kitchen said he got admission into the University of Uyo as a Political Science student. He mentioned that it wasn’t his intention to go to the university at first because he wanted to be a footballer playing outside the country; however, while pursuing this dream, he was instructed by the football committee to get a WAEC result which at that time he didn’t have.

The determined man speedily sat for the exams and passed with flying colors, but unfortunately, the football committee said it was too late when he provided the result.

The disappointed young man quickly put it behind him and focused on his business. He shared that many days after, his mother convinced him to sit for a JAMB exam, which he did, passed, and got admission into the university.

“My mum urged me after I lost the opportunity of playing football outside the country to sit for Jamb exam and to enrol into a university,” he said.

Felix’s passion for making it in life made him take his business to the university, where he started a small trade. The Hausas he lived with were unaware he was still a student; things were very difficult for him, especially his school work, which suffered a little.

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However, the young man quickly assured Battabox that he is doing very well and that his grades might even be hitting first-class.

A final year university student, Felix wrote his examinations sometime in January and can’t wait to finish school so he can focus on his business without any distractions.

How I got my idea of branding

Felix Eden explained that there isn’t a big story about why he started packaging and displaying his Suya the way he did. He said all he had to do to achieve his branding was to listen to friends and family who genuinely wanted his growth.

He added that aside from the advice he used, he also wanted to package his meat differently from the Hausas because he had tried their style, and it didn’t work out for him.

“I listened to advice from people who liked what I’m doing. They told me to package it this way and that way and when I did it, it started working for me, so it was people’s advice that made it more presentable,” he said.

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Challenges and plan

Like every other business owner with one or two challenges, Felix Eden is no different, as he disclosed the major challenges affecting his work.

His major challenge is funding; he explained they are still other things he needs to get to make his suya look more presentable. “I don’t know how to beg; if I could, I would have begged from all these big men, but I believe in work and get the money.”

Felix mentioned that if he gets funds, he will expand his branches and get work equipment to make his work faster, neater, and easier.

Another challenge the young CEO shared was his education. He complained of the unavoidable hefty transportation fare he spends to travel from Uyo to Anambra and vice versa to manage his business.

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As for his plans, one is publicity so that when people know him, he can see someone to help boost his business.

“It doesn’t have to be money, but if I am well known, people can give me bigger contracts that I would be able to see enough profit. I believe in working for my money, if you can also help me with money, it’s not a problem but it doesn’t have to be money,” he said.

He also aims to expand so he can be called to big events in every part of the world. “I want to be reachable everywhere, even overseas, to prepare food and Suya in events; I mostly would love to base on local delicacies.

“Suya is one of but major things I know how to do. I cook, I make barbecue, I make shwarma, a lot of things, but my issue is people don’t know I’m doing these things,” he said.


Still in his early 20s, a relationship isn’t really a priority for him at the moment. “I have girlfriends who support what I do, but I won’t call them longtime partners. I travel a lot and don’t want anybody to distract me. I don’t have any girlfriend at all.”

Adedoyin Adebisi
Adedoyin Adebisi
Adedoyin is a lover of writing and has been writing for years. she prides herself in her excellent communication skills (writing, speaking and listening). Adedoyin is young, vibrant, fun and very persistent in anything she plans to achieve. She is a great content writer, researcher, with particular interest in entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle. Doyin believes so much in 'don't knock it till you try it, and when you try it, keep knocking till it opens for you'.