Cornbread Soul Co-Founder, Adenah Bayoh, Discusses her triumphant journey and how small business owners can align
In the world of small business, the story of Adenah Bayoh stands out as a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of the American dream. Adenah Bayoh is a self-made entrepreneur who has risen from adversity to become a beacon of inspiration for aspiring business owners. Her most restaurant “Cornbread Soul,” has gained immense popularity in the states of New Jersey and New York.
Adenah Bayoh’s Journey to Success
Adenah Bayoh’s life story is one of incredible determination and tenacity. She was born in Liberia, West Africa, and faced the civil war that occurred in the region during her childhood.
In 1990, her family fled Liberia and sought refuge in the United States, settling in Newark, New Jersey. Despite the challenges of adapting to a new culture and environment, Adenah’s determination to succeed remained unwavering. Upon arriving in the United States, Adenah Bayoh took on multiple jobs to support herself and her family, working tirelessly while also attending college. Her experience in the restaurant industry played a pivotal role in shaping her vision for Cornbread Soul. Through hard work and perseverance, she earned a degree in Business Management and quickly realized that entrepreneurship was her calling.
Today, Adenah owns ten restaurants and counting, including four IHOP franchise locations around New Jersey. At 27, Adenah opened her first IHOP in Irvington Township, making her one of the youngest franchisees in the country at the time. Due to the success of her restaurants as well as her versatile real estate portfolio, she continues to make a huge impact in Irvington.
The Birth of Cornbread Soul
Adenah’s venture into the restaurant industry didn’t end with her IHOP franchise. In 2017, she and co-founder Elzadie Smith introduced “Cornbread Farm to Soul” to the culinary landscape. This restaurant brought a unique blend of Southern comfort food and soulful flavors to her community. With a menu that featured classics like fried chicken, collard greens, and, of course, cornbread, Adenah’s restaurant quickly gained a devoted following.
Advice for Small Business Owners
Adenah Bayoh’s journey to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs in New Jersey holds valuable lessons for aspiring business owners. Adenah has shared several traits that shape a versatile and successful entrepreneur:
- Perseverance: Despite facing numerous obstacles, she remained focused on her goals and overcame adversity. Small business owners must be prepared to weather challenges and stay committed to their vision. As a Black woman in the industry, Adenah must often defy the odds by proving that she is capable of running a professionally renowned business.
- Passion: Cornbread is a vision that Adenah set forth to create from start to finish because she believes in the opportunities it can build for communities. Passion is a driving force behind any successful business. When you are genuinely passionate about what you do, it shows in the quality of your products or services.
- Inclusivity: Not only does Adenah set out to provide the experience of soul food to all communities, she also wants to put minorities and women in high leadership spaces. She has been able to create a welcoming atmosphere at Cornbread Farm to Soul that showcases the importance of inclusivity, simply by embracing diversity and making all customers feel valued.
- Community Engagement: Building a strong connection with your community is vital for success. From the start Adenah has implemented programs that have helped serve the local community. These gestures have helped Adenah emphasize and project the true mission of her establishments. Adenah Bayoh’s involvement in her local community helped her establish strong customer relationships, gain support, and become a respected figure in the neighborhood.