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1) What have been the greatest rewards/obstacles of starting your own business?
The greatest rewards I have from starting my own business are the International Recognition of my product in the Hot Sauce Industry and also the recognition of my hard work.
The obstacles of starting my own business Leeds to many aspects. When I came to Canada it was not in my plan to make Hot Sauce for leaving and I was not prepared. At that time looking for Job to support my family without success I made a decision to return to School. The time I lunch my business I was enroll in my first year of Business Administration. Imagine how difficult it was for me to be full time student and full time in business. In the mean time I have to do all my assignment, homework and school project, I have to make Hot Sauce, Promote it and sell it by myself. It was one man show. It was a big challenge I face during my first year of business administration at Selkirk College. But I finish the year without problem. Starting the second year of my program in Professional Management, I went to Texas for the Fiery Food Challenge with Chile Pepper Magazine and return home with a winning product in my pocket. To better promote my product and push my business, as the opportunity was there, I made one of the difficult decisions in my life to withdraw from the program. Today I don’t have any regret of my option. The most important obstacles was time and commitment restraints balancing work and family life.

2) Where your product is now sold? What stores?
Edmond’s product can now be found in attractive glass bottles in various stores around the Kootenays including, Evergreen in South Slocan, Mother Natures in Castelgar, at Red Mountain ski hill in Rossland, at Bocci’s in Revelstoke and at Kootenay Co-op, Ellison’s, RedFish Grill Restaurant, Fish Market, Darwin’s, Subway and most recently Save-On Foods, in Nelson. Since two years Edmond was in discussion with Caper’s Store in Vancouver to carry his product. Few month’s ego Caper’s hock up a distribution contact with Wild West Organic Harvest for Edmond product . The WWOH make a final decision to carry all four kind of Edmond product. After filling the listing forms, finally Edmond had received his first order out of Nelson to such a big company on June 7, 2005. This first order for the Capers throught WWOH was about 42 cases and was fill wedding a days as Edmond was prepare in Advance. Also one can buy Ebesse Zozo in Vancouver at AFRICAN MINI STORE(7639 6TH Street, Burnaby, BC, V3M 3M6, Tel: 604-525-0395) and at B & B AFRICAN GENERAL MERCHANT(7707 6TH Street, Burnaby, BC, V3N 3M9, Tel: 604-525-3615). Enfin the most funny place one can get Ebesse Zozo is THE SPICE RACK (50 Beaver Brook Drive, Goulds, NL, Canada, A1S 1E3, Tel: 709-745-4404)

3) What would you like to see happen for you and your business in the future?
You know I start my business with 2 buckets, 4 blenders and food processors and a capital of $ 700.00. Today I have lot of assets. I’m running my business till now without any loon, grant or financial support. I’m so happy about that. I don’t want to be in debt if I’m not sure I will do well. Now that I a confident that Ebesse Zozo have a great market I’m hoping to find ASAP a financial support to grow and push my product out of Canada. Lot of tourist visiting Nelson bought my product and took it home. My product was in Australia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Peru, Holland, UK, Germany, US and even in Kenya. It is Amazing. People love it and asked more. In Canada WWOH want to sign exclusive contract for west Canada. From the small business I’m now an Incorporate Company with my own Trade Mark. Afin my dream is to make the world vibrate with Ebesse Zozo, have my product everywhere in store and every fridge.

4) How has your community supported you?
I don’t have the right word to qualify Nelson Community. This community is fabulous. Nelson was my first target market. Even if it was hard for people in Nelson to try my first edition of Ebesse Zozo in time Nelson Community became my best support, advertiser and promoter. I’m very proud of Nelson Community to accept my family, my culture and Ebesse Zozo Hot Sauce.

5) Why should people try your product?
People should try my product because:
EBESSE ZOZO HOT SAUCE is Unique and Original. Hot but Delicious and Flavourful
EBESSE ZOZO is Sauce with Body. Heat and Flavour Balance and match. After burn effect. Increase and Hence the flavour of anything it add to.
EBESSE ZOZO HOT SAUCE is for multipurpose, Useful on anything. Good for Barbecue, Fish, Marinade, Soup, Spaghetti, Rice, Potatoes, ect…and even taste better with Donat and in Sour Cream. EBESSE ZOZO is Old Family Recipe from Togo, West Africa which is Healthy and Good for You. Hand made, All Natural, No Chemical Preservative, no Vinegar, no Sugar and no MSG. EBESSE ZOZO HOT SAUCE make you dream about Africa.

6) What awards have you received that you are most proud of?
I’m proud of all Awards I wan in two years in roll. But the most important was the 1st Place, People’s Preference Award for EBESSE ZOZO Hot Sauce.

Ebesse Zozo Medium: 3rd place in XXX Hot sauce no extract. Placed behind two of the biggest names in this industry who have been producing and winning awards for at least the last ten years. And this category was one of the biggest in the Fiery Food Challenge
Ebesse Zozo Dipping Sauce: 3rd Place - Condiment Dipping Sauce Category
Ebesse Zozo Hot Sauce: 1st Place - People's Preference Award Category

7) How long have you been working on your product?
Three years, and it is not finish yet. I’m still working on it to make it better and suitable for everybody.

8) And is it entirely your own recipe?
EBESSE ZOZO is Old Family Recipe from Togo, West Africa. I have it from my mother. When I grow up she told me that I start eating spicy food when I was 2 months old. I think Reason why I can eat anything without using my magic potion. I have always a bottle of my extra hot in my pocket if I’m going anywhere.

9) Where is it sold in Nelson?
Kootenay Co-op, Ellison’s, RedFish Grill Restaurant, Fish Market, Taghem Gaz Station, Darwin’s, Subway and most recently Save-On Foods, in Nelson. But visiting Nelson one can enjoy Ebesse Zozo at Redfish Grill Restaurant on Baker street which I supply in bucket of ten litter every month for the happiness of their customer, Oso Negro café, Kootenay Bakery, Corner House café, Preserved Seed Bakery & Mate café, Lunch Box New grand Hotel and at DJ Restaurant.

10) What have you learned from the struggles you have had to face in your life?
I learned lot from the entire difficult situation I went trough in my life. All those experience was kind of school I went trough. We always learn from our past experience. Patience, confident, dream and believe in God was the best lesson’s I have learned.

11) Did you expect so many people to take an interest in your hot sauce so soon?
Of course I have a great expectation that so many people will have an interest in my product. Anyone who try EBESSE ZOZO will never stop.