FOLLOWING A successful start as a supper club, Afiya Titus officially set up her contemporary Caribbean street food brand in January.
Lime Hut, a mobile street food company, is based in Berwick Street food market in Soho, fulfils a gap in the market for fresh, healthy and light Caribbean food, Afiya said.
The idea came following a “food coma” brought on by the consumption of a Caribbean takeaway.
“I was studying for my accounting qualification with colleagues. We got a traditional West Indian takeaway but moments later we are all in a ‘food coma’ and couldn’t focus on studying properly afterwards. I started to think more about dietary-health issues surrounding the Afro-Caribbean community and wanted to find a way to enjoy Caribbean food in a lighter and healthier way.
“Essentially, I wanted to follow a healthier culinary lifestyle but I knew that bland kale was not the answer for me. So after perfecting modern dishes with a nod to tradition, I created Lime Hut, which started off as a supper club in Islington back in 2016. The supper clubs grew in popularity and by 2017 I decided to quit my job in finance to pursue Lime Hut full-time,” she told The Voice.
Despite only having been in business since the start of the year, 28-year-old Afiya has already collaborated with global drinks brand Bacardi on a summer kitchen takeover, something she describes as one of her proudest moments as she was approached by them. But the ultimate highlight has been her customers who turn up come rain or shine.
FRESH: Afiya was inspired to create Caribbean dishes in a healthier way
Afiya said: “It was a cold, rainy and windy day, but huge numbers of my regular customers came out to welcome us back and tell us how much they’d missed us during the summer pop-up. It was at that moment I realised I had created a brand that people had fallen in love with!”
As far as challenges go, the biggest one has been one that many entrepreneurs can relate to.
“The biggest challenge I have found is that I am a solo entrepreneur and managing a business by myself requires agile thinking and an ability to multi-task and organise like no other job demands. Lacking an extra pair of hands or the ability to clone myself has been the biggest challenge,” she said.
The difficulties Afiya has faced have all been part of the learning process, so much so she’s keen to help others.
“When things go ‘wrong’ it is never a bad thing because it’s always a learning curve and opportunity to improve and up your game. I’m learning daily and am passionate about sharing knowledge. It’s why I set up the ‘Lime Hut helps’ mentor programme to give academic and professional mentoring to young students from historically under-represented backgrounds. Learning and experience paves the way to excellence.”
Discover more about Lime Hut at www.limehut.co.uk