We had the good fortune of connecting with Simileoluwa Adebajo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Simileoluwa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Eko Kitchen was born out of necessity for me – I felt it was necessary for the people of San Francisco to experience Nigerian culture and determined that using food and ,music would be the easiest way to expose them to it. I had left Lagos and wanted to bring the Lagos feeling with me to the Bay Area and started my restaurant to do just that
What should our readers know about your business?
One of the things I am most proud of about my business is how many people I have been able to enlighten about Nigeria through my restaurant and its events. When I first started my business, I was a little confused about my audience but quickly realized that my core fanbase would be people who knew very little about Nigeria and wanted to experience the culture for the first time. In this realization my tag line became “Nigerian food interpreted for a global audience.” and I was able to design my menu and events to appeal to a diverse audience
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ride the Powell St cable cars from Union square to Fishermans Wharf – buy some fresh fried shrimp and calamari and stroll to Pier 39 to shop and see some sea lions! A hike at the Lands end trail reveals a gorgeous view of the Bay
A quick trip to the Golden gate bridge and the palace of fine arts for a day of architectural wonders
Bottomless Mimosa Brunch at Scopo Divino
Friday Night dancing at Little Baobab in the Mission
Roller skating at the church of 8 wheels
Sight seeing in the Haight and lunch in the park by the painted ladies
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout Steve and Kristina at Joint Venture Kitchen, and Fabien Santos at Merkado – these 3 individuals believing in me and providing spaces within which I have been able to grow my business are the reasons why my brand is in existence today. I also want to thank my family for their unwavering love and support
Instagram: @ekokitchensf; @simileolu