fbpx

‘Adwoa Agbogbloshie’ shares the joy, tears of Big Samps Market

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Elselund Ewudzie-Sampson

On the July 26, 2022, a team from Springboard paid a surprise visit to Big Samps Market, a grocery delivery business at Tse Addo in Accra where they interacted with the founder, a young Graphic Design graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Elselund Ewudzie-Sampson, also known as Adwoa Agbogbloshie who was about to celebrate her fifth year in business.

A video showing the interactions during the visit and a passionate sales pitch by Adwoa went viral with many commending the young lady for creating employment and using her talent to earn a living in agribusiness.

A number of patrons of her service also chipped in to share comments about efficiency and pleasant customer experiences dealing with her.

This week on Springboard, Your Virtual University, Adwoa Agbogbloshie shared the story of her business with Rev. Albert Ocran.

On how she came about the name ‘Adwoa Agbogbloshie’, she said “I came about this name in a trotro.”

“When I started, I needed a message to send to the average Ghanaian. I was doing grocery delivery but I knew there was one thing I was not communicating so there was a colleague I was marketing my idea to and she asked me if I will get her grocery to her like she would get from Agbogbloshie.

“I didn’t know Agbogbloshie then so I asked my mum to take me there. In trotro one day, still thinking about what the lady said, I was thinking let me use this tag line ‘quality groceries at Agbogbloshie prices and that is what led to me changing my name to Adwoa Agbogbloshie which is one of my boldest decisions,” she explained.

She said that name is what had so far helped in selling her brand.

Heart cry

Adwoa Agbogbloshie said about a month ago, she spent three nights crying and praying to God about her business.

“We were turning five and there is a vision that I had for the business by the time it turns five. I will say we are not where we used to be as we have grown but there was something that I needed and wanted to celebrate the fifth anniversary with and I felt it was getting close but that thing had not been realised.

“I prayed to God for visibility and demand as the icing on our anniversary cake. The unexpected Springboard visit on July 26, 2022 and the public response was the answer to that prayer,” she stated.

She said since the Springboard posted her video, she has been overwhelmed by the widespread outpouring of love.

She said this had really touched everyone including her family, friends, staff and clients.

“I was so overwhelmed and cried as the messages kept flowing in,” he stated.

Selling

Adwoa Agbogbloshie pointed out that selling had always been part of her life.

She said she sold gari and pure water as a child and in her second year at the university, she started selling shoes.

“Everyone thought I would go into the shoe business after school because I did it very well,” she noted.

She said the grocery delivery idea was inspired by a research into food packaging as part of her course.

“In my final year. I was doing a personal food packaging research and I came across grocery delivery and read more about it so I started it on campus but it didn’t work,” she pointed out.

8 Lessons from her story

1. Failure; my research focused on the delivery of vegetables such as cauliflower and bell pepper in USA. I tried replicating the ideas with local ingredients, designed and shared flyers on campus; it failed woefully.

2. Work experience; after university, I gave myself three years to work and gain experience. I worked in two advertising agencies and a TV station before going into Big Samps Market full-time.

3. Bundles; after four years in business, we identified the fastest selling foodstuffs and created specific combinations that clients could order. We released them on Independence Day last year as the ‘Ghana Weekend Bundle’ and it was an instant hit.

4. Advertising; my advertising experience and graphic design background influence many of my business decisions.

5. Hustles; the struggles of young entrepreneurs are real. People don’t often understand your new concept and that can be very challenging. I look back at my first three business failures and concede that I myself didn’t know what I was doing.

6. International exposure; my counselor, Jonathan Apemah-Gyimah encouraged me to apply for the Mandela-Washington fellowship. He persisted till I submitted five minutes to the deadline. I was successful and travelled to the USA for six weeks. Jonathan’s application didn’t go through but he was so happy for me. He’s an angel.

7. The next level; Big Samps Market aspires to have our own cold storage facilities to be able to stock foodstuffs, even when they go out of season and keep delivering them fresh to our clients.

8. Human resource; I currently have a team of 12 aside the several market women, suppliers and riders who are indirectly linked to our business. We strictly vet and orient our staff to ensure they understand our business standards.

Testimonies from clients/ support from corporate bodies

1. I have used Adwoa’s services for close to two years and it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s convenient and easy to access. Adwoa is warm and friendly. I recommend Big Samps Market. - Petra Aba Asamoah, Marketing Executive

2. The Adwoa Agbobloshie story resonates with MTN’s “what are you doing today” campaign and our values of leadership and the can-do spirit. MTN Ghana donates a laptop and internet data to support Big Samps Market and pray that this will inspire more young doers. — Georgina Asare Fiagbenu, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, MTN Ghana

3. Adwoa Agbobloshie has given an advantage to herself and her clients by her innovative venture. Enterprise Group is proud to reward her with a fire and allied perils policy worth GH¢200,000 for her shop and stocks, a life insurance policy worth GH¢100,000 and a personal pension policy with a deposit of GH¢1,000. - Mark Addison, Head of Marketing, Enterprise Group

4. UMB sees in Adwoa a conglomerate that will touch the globe in future. She has our five values of delivering with speed, passion, excellence, ethics and diligence. As UMB celebrates 50 years in banking with a focus on SMEs, we are happy to partner Big Samps Market with an SME account and seed money of GH¢5,000. — Philemon Okyere Danquah (GM) & Nelly Abochie (GM) of UMB Bank Ghana

5. Every blue chip company starts as a small idea. The GIPC is very interested in nurturing SMEs. We offer to fully sponsor Adwoa Agbobloshie on our next investment trip to tell her story and pitch her business to the world of investors. We will also put Big Samps on a digital marketing platform for access to local and international clients. — R. Yofi Grant, CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

6. I met Adwoa years ago and we connected; first as a mentor and then a very satisfied client. Ordering her bundles means that I do not have to bother about the ingredients for a particular menu. Adwoa is focused, detail-oriented, hands-on, tenacious, warm, humble and doesn’t take no for an answer. I see Big Samps expanding beyond Ghana. — Lucy Quist, Adwoa’s mentor and client.

7. Elsie is one of the most hardworking people I have ever met. Back on campus, she sold shoes and bread. At the inception of Big Samps, she would go to the market at 3 a.m. to buy foodstuffs before going to work. — Winifred Obiri Yeboah, Adwoa’s roommate at KNUST.