The decision to stop drinking fizzy drinks was the inspiration behind me starting my brand - Creative Director Taé-Exotica

By Kemi Mobuse - Thursday, April 05, 2018

The first time I tasted Zobo as it is popularly called, was way back in Secondary School, over twenty something years ago 😊😝( now you know, I'm not a small girl, Hehe!)...Zobo is a refreshing drink produced from dried roselle or sorrel leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa).
It was brought to the boarding house by my then Roommate & Colleague, who I happened to be keeping malice with at the time. I could only watch from my top bunk, while she mixed it with sugar, pineapple,ginger and served to everyone except me. The smirking of tongues and exclamation of delight that the other girls gave, made me very upset, because I have no idea what it tastes like and it tastes delicious from their expression.

Out of annoyance, I turned my back to them and laid down on the bed, pretending to sleep, till they all left the room. They were barely out of the door, when I jumped down from the bed , flew to one of the left over cups and drank the little drop of Zobo left in it. Oh boy! it was delicious. I quickly added a a little drop of water to the cup and downed it all 😏😏😏 all the while planning how to make up with girl immediately she comes back, so I can get my own cup of Zobo. Hehe! 

I have been seeing Zobo all around me since then, and I have loved every bit of it especially while pregnant. 

Coming across a brand like Taé-Exotica who has taken Zobo, the Made in Nigeria healthy and afforadable drink to another level is really refreshing and the interview we had with the Creative Director is as interesting as it can get below and drop a comment:
KMB: Can we meet you?

Exotica Zobo: My name is Taiwo Abimbola Mogbonjubola. I am a wife, daughter, sister, mother, a trained teacher, counselor and an entrepreneur.

KMB: Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you decided to become a Health Bar Specialist?

Exotica Zobo: When I was in secondary school, Home Economics was part of the subjects I took and I got an A3 in that subject among other subjects because of my special interest in it.
I have always loved to do kitchen & food runs. Anything that has to do with kitchen, food and drinks always gladdens me. I enjoy cooking, shopping and things in general.
Being a third child and a twin, my family knew that I have passion for entertaining people generally and I’m skilled at organizing parties and gatherings. This lifestyle made me the go-to-person among my family, friends and loved ones. It brought out that part of me that people always want to be with.

Exotica Zobo: In 2013, I took a decision not to consume fizzy drinks again. To some people, it was a difficult decision but to me, it came effortlessly. Reason being that;  I have not been addicted to it. I ONLY consume fizzy drinks when I see them and if I don't see them, I don’t feel the urge to buy. In the same vein, this eased my decision till date.
So I thought to myself, what would I use to replace these drinks?
This was when I remembered how, my mum used to brew Zobo for home consumption While we were growing up. Back then, we use the drink with sugar and it was always a delight. She would experiment by brewing in different flavours by adding lime, orange and all sorts. We really enjoyed ourselves having Zobo as a drink anytime we wanted.
This influenced my decision and I decided to replace the fizzy drinks with Zobo. As time went on, I started making it on a regular and I would store in my freezer for my family and guests

KMB: Did you ever imagine you would make a career out of making Zobo?

Exotica Zobo : Not really. I just knew my line of business has always centered around food or drinks.
But when I started out, something struck me and I realized, THIS IS IT!

KMB: Why the choice of “Zobo” as your product? Why not milkshake et al?

Exotica Zobo: Zobo as a choice came to be because, we brew it my house while growing up. It was a natural choice for me especially because I already have interest, in it and gained some sort of expertise through my Mum.

KMB: Exotica Zobo” is a classy and unique Name, what inspired this choice of Name?

Exotica Zobo:  the name Exotica Zobo was coined out from the how rich my Zobo is. It’s not only classy but well prepared and brewed to your taste! The taste alone will spell out how rich it's brewed considering the composition of the ingredients.

KMB: Before venturing into this field, did you have a life in the food world? How did that come about?

Exotica Zobo:  Yes I did. Like I said earlier on, home management was part of my secondary school subjects which I took special interest in and passed.
Right from after secondary school, I started cooking and baking cakes for my personal consumption, but I turned out to be very good at it, and everyone around me took notice, it eventually got to a point that I baked some of my friend's wedding cakes and all.
While in the university, I took on a lot of catering jobs as well. I believed this gave me that edge I need.

KMB: Can you talk about how your educational background has influenced your ability to run a successful brand that has gained a very strong reputation?

Exotica Zobo:  Well, I am an NCE holder from Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo (English/Primary Education), I graduated in 1999,then worked for like 3years after which I decided to go back for my degree at Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU) at Ago Iwoye and graduated in 2013. I majored in Guidance & Counselling/English.
Anyone familiar with Faculty of Education then would know that; students who belong to that faculty must be extremely tough.  It’s not for the faint hearted because, while students from other faculties were having like 8-10 courses, Faculty of Education students were rolling with 18-20 courses.
I would say this has impacted in me the skills required for building a very strong brand.

KMB: What are the contents/ingredients of Exotoca Zobo?

Exotica Zobo:  The content includes treated water, dried hibiscus flower also known as 'Roselle flower, ginger cloves, beetroot, pineapples, dates and fruit flavors.

KMB: Does it offer many health as well as nutritional benefits?

Exotica Zobo:  It offers numerous health benefits and lots of nutritional benefits suitable for both male and female, young and old and it maintains the human body as a whole.
-it lowers blood pressure naturally
-helps with weight loss
-effective in lowering the cholesterol level
-reduces anxiety and depression
-prevents common cold and flu.
-prevents pre-cancerous cells from growing
-natural relief for inflammation
And above all, it’s a natural health drink

KMB: How can you say social Media has impacted on your brand?

Exotica Zobo:  Social media has made a great impact on my brand. I am a recipient of social media marketing and sales. From Facebook to Instagram to whatsapp, it's been a jolly good ride from day one. I get a lot of orders and sales on a daily basis from each platform coupled with the fact that, I still do a lot of street hawking, store introduction and one on one marketing. It’s been dynamic all the way.
I have also gained from social media training from numerous coaching and tips online.

KMB: Where in the country can your products be easily found for purchase?

Exotica Zobo:  My products can be found in supermarkets both on the mainland and Island parts of Lagos. We have also started stocking our products in other cities like Ibadan, Abeokuta among others to come.
We also have a few independent distributors all around Lagos.

KMB: What can you say has made you successful as an entrepreneur?

Exotica Zobo:  Well I am not there yet, but I’m on my way. Lol
I have a few attribute that are responsible for my being on that path of success.
I am resilient, dynamic, a good listener, very hardworking, tenacious, strong-willed, consistent and selfless.

KMB: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start a business?

Exotica Zobo:  Believe in yourself
Put in your best foot
Be consistent
Be resilient.

KMB: Lastly, how can you be contacted?

Exotica Zobo:  These are my contact details:  
Facebook- Taè-Exotica Foods

Wattsapp nos/phone calls-09069972113, 08023625027, 08090586044.

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  1. Wow.i love your zeal in creating the zobo drink in different flavors.Weldone.