The ‘Need to Know’ series focuses on African creative professionals all over the globe discovering and mastering their craft.
Meet Alexis Oladipo: a fashion stylist, entrepreneur and all-round girl boss carving her own niche in the “healthy fast food industry” one jar at a time. Her brand, Gym Bites, is now stocked in Selfridges, stores around London and in an online store.
In this exclusive chat, Alexis tells us a bit about Gym Bites, how it was borne out of a difficult period in her life, how finding her faith transformed her life and propelled her brand, and ultimately how she intends to inspire women around the world by sharing her story.
My name is Alexis Oladipo. I’m 29 years old and I was born and raised in Hackney but currently live in Essex. I am a small business owner of a company called Gym Bites and above all these things, I am a child of God.
Tell us about Gym Bites. How did it come about and what’s your vision for it?
Gym Bites came about when I was going through a difficult period in my life. I was going through depression, weight loss and trying to make ends meet as a cleaner. Through frustration and knowing I had more in me to achieve, I was recommended to join the Princes Trust Enterprise programme for young people. It was there that I shared my idea with my millionaire mentor who cosigned it and encouraged me to explore the business idea further.
My vision was to create a healthy eating brand that catered to people’s needs. Your business idea, in my opinion, should solve a problem and when I started Gym Bites in 2013, there wasn’t much catering to healthy eating after the gym.
I wanted something unique and sustainable that people could literally grab and go. Hence the salad in a jar. Most salads come in a bowl and you kinda have to finish it there and then, and even if you did try and save some, you’ll get salad juice all in your bag.
You don’t have to worry about that with Gym Bites salads. They come in recyclable plastic jars equipped with a fork and my very own dressing recipe. You can have some now and save some for later. It was all about great tasting, nutritious food, convenient to grab and go!
How has the journey been?
Interesting! The best way I can describe the journey is like a rollercoaster. Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down but the most important thing is to keep a positive attitude through all your trials and tribulations and trust God’s plan for your life.
What would you describe as the most exciting and defining moment of your journey so far?
There’s so many its actually hard to choose. I think I will say finding Christ. I say this because the year I founded Gym Bites was the year I came to know God properly and devoted my life to him. That was the year my life literally changed forever.