Femi Oyedipe, Nigeria’s sustainable bean-to-bar chocolate producer — Lionesses of Africa

Femi is a highly creative entrepreneur with a knack for quality management and brand projection. Since 2016, the company has experienced significant growth and acceptance amongst both local and international communities. Loshes Chocolate products are spread across local unique high-end stores and at the International Duty Free with further plans to expand to reach international clients.

Femi has achieved certifications in the Art of Bean to Bar processing of Chocolates from Legnano, Italy. She also holds a Master’s degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry.
Femi is a firm believer in wellness, organic and clean label foods, sustainability, capacity development of local resources, and environmental consciousness. By 2031, she plans to drive Loshes Chocolate operations towards Green Production Thinking and the Circular Environment, whereby waste generated is recycled for energy generation, vertical planning, and animal feeds.

Lioness Weekender spoke to the passion driven Femi Oyedipe about her business, her growth trajectory, and her future aspirations for this growing bean-to-bar chocolate brand.

When did your start your business?: 

The idea was birthed in 2015 and we went commercial in 2016. The one year period was used for feasibility studies and market awareness.

What does your company do?

At Loshes Chocolate, we source cocoa beans locally at fair trade and craft the unique taste of each bean origin to fine chocolates in a bean-to-bar, single origin range of Chocolates. We create a variety of Chocolates from Dark, Milk, White and Dark-Milk Chocolates from Idere (Oyo State) and Ile-Oluji (Ondo State). We also provide Chocolate Chips, Cocoa Powder, Bakers Chocolate and Custom Chocolate Recipes.

What inspired you to start your company?

We looked for value to create a credible capacity development and a blueprint for sustainable growth. The cocoa industry provided a good opportunity to demonstrate the value of processing a raw material into a finished product. Our journey passed through research and development, local equipment manufacturer (chocolate specific and general) and local material sourcing to create a 100 percent locally sourced product. Ensuring that as we grow all these industries that supply resources for our chocolates will also grow and this is the sustainable growth we aim for.
We also have developed our business to support the United Nations sustainable growth goals centered around Good Health and Well-being; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Sustainable Cities and Communities. This is an intentional attempt to add value to where we work and conduct our business.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Quality – our chocolates are made from carefully selected cocoa beans without any additives or preservatives and are made to the highest level of quality attainable with artisan chocolates, providing the full health and mood benefits of cocoa.

Hand Crafted – our chocolates are single origin chocolates, each with a unique set of flavors from cocoa origins and preserved into the final chocolates to create a diverse sensual experience.

Variety – our wide variety of chocolates guarantees satisfaction to meet the most diverse taste preferences.

Fresh Chocolates / Custom Recipes – reduced time between production and consumption and flexibility to meet a wide variety of chocolate needs.

Homemade – made locally yet made to the highest standard of chocolates in their class, and a means of improving the local economy

Tell us a little about your team

I am the CEO in a team of 11 staff collectively. My responsibility is to ensure that the vision of Loshes Chocolate is materialized. We have an Operations / Production Supervisor who has grown with us from inception to this position. He is in charge of ensuring smooth and efficient production. Our Quality Control Officer is responsible for ensuring products meets QC levels and are batched /tagged properly. Accounts /Customer Service Officer handles both clients’ accounts and petty cash operations within the factory. My husband provides technical consultation in the design and selection of equipment, He remains our technical consultant till date. The rest of the team are vibrant young ladies that function in the molding & tempering department, cleaning and sundry, grinding and raw materials. We are a female predominant business, even our lady grinders are named after exemplary women in Nigeria and across Africa. We are a growing boutique team with a positive culture and integrity to always do what we have said we will do and we care for each other. We are not only focused on what we make but on how we make the chocolates.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

Well, after I completed my undergraduate studies in 2005, I realized I had a flare for creativity and a passion to use my hands to create beautiful things. Though I kept a 9-5 working job, I had a stint in makeup artistry where I trained with a famous UK brand and did make up for brides during the weekends. I even began to distribute renowned makeup brands at one point, but I still felt unfulfilled. Then in 2011, after completing an MSC program in Human Resources Management from Scotland, I moved to Ghana and whilst living and working (volunteering), I developed a very keen interest in baking and cooking up deserts. So, in my spare time I would bake cupcakes, cakes frosted with chocolate ganache’s for friends and family, and before I knew it, I began to cater to a wider community of dessert lovers. Then my business Creme Indulgence was birthed and I created deserts for special occasions. Then my family and I had to return home to Nigeria, so armed with a master’s degree and some years of work experience I got a job as an HR Manager. After a couple of years, I yearned for more, and I sought ways to add impact in our society, and so Loshes Chocolate was born.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

To consistently provide value in the African economy by processing a natural resource (Cocoa) into finished products. Along the way there will be significant capacity development, knowledge sharing, improving equipment manufacture capacity and impacting the communities, which will ultimately bring tangible, measurable, achievable and sustainable growth. The Loshes Chocolate brand will be synonymous with the best type of Chocolate / Cocoa finished product and associated with unwavering quality in Africa and in the global community. This is our dream!

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

The ability to conceive an idea, implement the idea and experience the satisfaction and value it brings to the lives of people. All these factors lead to building a successful brand and this satisfies my entrepreneurial thirst.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Let the passion and reason “WHY” be defined with unwavering conviction and this serves as a compass for steering the business.

To find out more about Loshes Chocolate, send an email to: losheschocolate@outlook.com or visit the website and social media platforms:


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