It’s certainly not unique to our West African brothers and rivals but ensuring that staff wear uniforms has been a common feature in Nigeria more so than in Ghana. It is common sight to behold various agents of companies in uniform going about their duties, even house helps or maids are not spared in Nigeria.
It was therefore baffling for folks in Kumasi then Accra when a certain bunch of folks old and young, men and women emerged in leafy green and white attires offering branded pie for sale.
Curious as Ghanaians can be, it was the bold ones who dared to purchase and then taste whatever was on offer. Any fear which was harboured was quickly dispelled thanks to the tasty and meaty pie ingested and having dominated the Kumasi market for 3 years or so, Barimah Osei Mensah, Director of Adinkra Pies thought it prudent to make the big move to Accra.
Eventually Adinkra Pie would make its Accra entry in April 2014. Located at the Kansehie First Light lane in a decent office/ factory place, it is safe to say the pie revolution is well and truly on.
Whatever motivated the University of Texas Graduate and UK banking man to opt for the flavour of pies must have been intense but the returns are sure making it worthwhile.
If for nothing at all Barimah has helped to create employment for the over 800 employees he supervises. Going for 2GH Cedis a piece, the pies are discounted 1.60 pesewas to the sellers indicating that they make 40 pesewas on every pie.
It might not be much given that selling pie on the streets is no walk in the park but worth it when one eschews laziness. The tough ones say they can sell as much as 100 pies on a good day.
Upon a visit to Ghana from his Canada sojourn, James Boahene Sarpong easily identified as ‘Borga’ seeing the progress of Adinkra Pie, got the conviction that his dream of creating something for fellow citizens was a possibility and not mere dream and so in November of 2014 Peace Pie made its grand entry in Accra.
After 25 years in Europe ‘Borga’ originally from Techiman put his all in the new product spending tons of money in erecting a working and sleeping quarters at Mallam/New Gbawe to help the unemployed in earning an income as well as provide sleeping quarters for those who hail from the countryside and have no abode in Accra.
Initially commanding over 100 staff, the current 80 strong staff remain thankful that despite the tough times they still have a job.
According to Kwame, an associate of ‘Borga’, the on-going power crisis is taking a toll on the business indicating that since the sellers of the pie rely on traffic slowing down to effect sale, the non functioning of traffic lights due to frequent outages mean the vehicles are not caught in traffic for sales to be made to passengers which is hurting sales
At a glance both pies seem identical but ‘the sweetness of the pudding they say is in the eating’ and so a bite of both pies would reveal that Peace Pie contains less oil than Adinkra Pie.
According to ‘Borga’, mindful of the wellbeing of his patrons, he is determined to keep his pie less oily rather adding more vegetables yet retaining that crunchy bite.
“The dream is for Peace Pie to have presence in all the 10 regions and the West African sub region. I also plan on reducing human involvement in the flour mixing and baking stages in the future rather mechanizing much of the process to further safeguard the health of patrons although the human element would be key in packaging and selling” Mr. Sarpong noted.
According to the well built man, whiles other Been To’s, engage in buying flashy cars and building mansions he opted to help reduce the massive unemployment level in the country and although times are tough he is determined to succeed.
Many have wondered what happens to the pies which are unsold since both Adinkra and Peace Pies indicate on their wrappers that they don’t sell day old pies.
“We entreat staff to sell all the pies but in cases where there are leftovers they are sent to folks in the Mallam Police Station cells who have no one to feed them whiles some are sent to folks who sleep on the streets because of poverty” ‘Borga’ intimated.
I understand Adinkra also undertakes a similar practice. So next time you find Adinkra and Peace Pie agents at Lapaz, Mallam, Kaneshie, Okaishie, Agblogbloshie, Teshie, Bubuashie and Awoshie show them some love by buying a pie and help sustain the revolution to reduce unemployment and poverty in our blessed yet tough country.