We had the good fortune of connecting with Azubuike Akunne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Azubuike, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started NeuBite to provide healthy meals to residents of food deserts. There are geographic areas across America where access to healthy, affordable food is not afforded to everyone. The sad part about this is that people in these communities are only left with unhealthy foods, which lead to the abundance of preventable diseases taking over communities. The usual solution people talk about when it comes to food deserts is to build grocery stores. That’s a great idea, but unfortunately, the costs are significantly high and big supermarkets aren’t motivated to move into these communities. So I started thinking of low cost ways to bring foods to food deserts. I first started with using a cargo bicycle to navigate around the city of Chicago selling fresh fruits and vegetables. That was an exciting time in my life! Myself and my brother would wake up and pedal around the city 5 days a week just enjoying being outside. After the cargo bicycle I started selling meal kits at farmers markets. I’d find healthy recipes, buy the ingredients in bulk and then package them together for meal. Most recently though I have developed a smart vending machine I call R.A.S (Retail Automated System) essentially its a fridge that you can scan your method of payment grab an item and go along your way. They’re small grocery stores really. Our goal is to place them inside already existing corner stores in these food deserts. Along with the social justice aspect of our business, we’re a for profit organization and our technology can be placed anywhere around the world. It’s interesting we went from selling food to selling technology!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
City [Lagos,Nigeria] When my friends visit me in Lagos I love to take them around to a mix of locations to ensure they have a diverse experience in the city. We’d go to Bature Brewery to grab some locally made beer and hear some live music from the band on display. We’d go to the conversation park t have a feel for nature inside the hstle and bustle of the city. Hanging out there for a few hours. Daily we’d check out a few retaraunts and try out some of the cooking from the best rated restaurants in the city.
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 would like to give a shout out to all the humans on earth. I gain inspiration from everyone no matter there background or beliefs. I think we can learn a lot from one another if we get out of our feelings and get into our ears.
Instagram: azubu1ke [Personal] & neubite.co [Business]