Young entrepreneurs: Ifeyinwa Frederick, Chuku’s

Celebrating her family’s heritage, Frederick’s Nigerian pop-up Chuku’s has been visited by high-profile MPs and Olympic champions alike…

Name: Ifeyinwa Frederick
Company: Chuku’s
Age: 25
Website: chukuslondon.co.uk

At just 25 years old, Ifeyinwa Frederick already has a wealth of experience under her belt.

Having started her own dance school at the age of 16 to avoid a job at her dad’s accountancy firm, Frederick went on to gain a degree in classics from Cambridge University and work both at an award-winning PR firm and in the marketing department of a leading supermarket.

Setting herself the task of becoming fluent in French, in 2014 Frederick moved to Martinique and later France.

In between her travels, however, Frederick and her brother Emeka had been discussing a business idea, the potential of which had started to become undeniable. Deciding to commit to the idea, Frederick moved back to the UK in February 2016 and the duo founded Chuku’s.

Aiming to celebrate their heritage by bringing Nigerian food and culture to London, Chuku’s is a pop-up restaurant that serves authentic Nigerian dishes on tapas-style small plates for sharing.

Built on the tagline “chop, chat, chill” – where “chop” is Nigerian slang for eat – Chuku’s has fostered an online community of 7,000 fans and has been visited by high profile guests from MP Diane Abbott to Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu.

The business has been something of a media sensation. Within a matter of weeks from late 2016, Chuku’s was featured in Elle, Bella Naija (one of the biggest magazines in African media) and Time Out – and attracting coverage from three major publications in such a short time is no mean feat for a young start-up.

Riding on this momentum, the duo entered Virgin Media Pioneers’ Global Entrepreneurship Week competition and won, causing a storm on Twitter and resulting in an interview with London Live. The business has now been lauded by over 20 media outlets.

Today, the Fredericks and their three employees are on the hunt for a permanent restaurant site for Chuku’s to further their mission of making Nigerian cuisine “accessible to people of all cultures in the UK, building an inclusive community around good food and feel-good vibes”.