Pamela Akpomedaye holds an NCE in English from the College of Education Warri, a B.A in Theatre Arts from University of Calabar, an M.A in Theatre Arts from University of Uyo, and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Cultural Administration in view from the University of Port Harcourt. After her youth service in 2010, she worked in a hospitality consulting firm for 2 years before starting her company, P’camidos Catering, which she manages alongside her job as a senior financial planner in an insurance company.
CN: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur; what inspired this business?
I decided to become an entrepreneur out of necessity. I was working in a company where I was being owed salaries, at a time when I was nursing a toddler and schooling. I had to find the strength to start something that was mine with the skills I had. The inspiration came from me attending a friend’s son’s birthday party; tasting the food, and realizing I could do much better.
CN: How did you raise capital to start the business?
I reached out to friends and family and was able to raise funds to buy and implement the basic things I needed to get it started.
CN: How did you learn your craft; do you have any formal training in catering?
I started cooking from a very young age. My mum was a caterer and always assigned tasks to me in the kitchen (slicing, dicing, washing etc.). At 10 I was already making lunch for myself and my younger brother.
When I decided to make this a business, I turned to the school of YouTube to hone my skills and pick up new skills. I’m constantly trying out recipes and developing new ones.
CN: Who is your business aimed at and how do you reach them?
My business is aimed at the average Nigerian; people who love affordable but tasty food, small chops and cocktails for their events. We come up with packages that are tailored to meet specific needs. We currently have an Ember promo running for 550k that will cater to 300 guests for food and small chops for their event, so people planning weddings and businesses planning End of Year parties can enjoy this opportunity. We also run a delivery service to provide small chops and food to working-class individuals. My passion is to provide hygienically prepared and delicious food to people without it being outrageously expensive. I get my clients from marketing on social media, and word of mouth referrals.
CN: What’s the most challenging part of your work?
The most challenging part of my work is being consistent. You have to have mastery of your recipes so there are no inconsistencies. You can have no bad days. Also, being a sort of perfectionist means I always push myself and outdo myself every time. That striving for perfection is what makes the job worthwhile.
CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you have ever made?
The best career decision was just taking the bold step to start my business; not overthinking it or waiting for the funds to be as much as I wanted. Just taking the giant leap of starting. Who knows, maybe I’d still be waiting.
CN: The food services industry in Nigeria is growing fast. What makes P’camidos unique?
Oh yes, it is, within the last 5 years, it has exploded. What makes P’camidos different is our customer-centric approach. We are constantly innovating and looking for ways to make the customer’s experience all the more special. We work with the customer’s needs from budget to planning and execution.
CN: How do you balance your work commitments with your personal life?
Oh boy! I honestly cannot take credit for this. It just comes from having a great support system; family and friends who go all out to support my dreams. Having lots of to-do lists and sticky notes doesn’t hurt either.
CN: What’s the one piece of advice every career woman should hear?
“You’ve gat this.” Women are always told what they can and can’t do, what they should and shouldn’t do. Whatever you set your mind to do, no matter how difficult it seems, you’ve gat this Sis.
Click here to contact P’camidos Catering directly
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This article was first published on 19th September 2017 and updated on November 6th, 2017 at 10:32 am