Starting an Akara Snack Business

Bean cake is a local delicacy in Nigeria and some West African countries. The business is profitable and the snack is enjoyed by both young and old. 
The major ingredient is beans and a few ingredients such as onions, pepper, salt, groundnut oil and spicing. Akara sellers are usually low income earners or small scale entrepreneurs with limited startup capital.
Usually the seller perfects the frying in an open environment and sells directly to patrons. The best times to fry the bean cakes are in the morning or evening.
There is high demand for the product and practitioners earn decent income from the business. To start the business you need a good location, learn how to make Akara, purchase equipment and pay local taxes.
Here are a few ways to start your Akara business.
Starting an Akara Snack Business
Learn How to make Bean Cake
Before your launch the enterprise learn how to make bean cake. Akara is very easy to make however you need to develop a cost effective and profitable recipe.
Learn how to make the delicious snack from books, online resources or a family member. The ingredients used in making the snack are basic however the mixture is slightly different and unique to the seller.

How to make Akara- Bean cake
To make Akara you need to purchase brown beans. It is important to purchase the beans in bulk for higher profit taking.
You can start with a bag of beans which could last a month or more depending on your customers and sales. Once you have your major ingredient (beans) buy a 25 liter gallon of groundnut oil.
Other ingredients you need are onions, pepper, salt and spicing. To make the Akara you can measure about ¼ paint bucket of beans.
You could start with a smaller quantity because once the mixture is made it depreciates quickly and spoils in a couple of hours. The beans are then washed in water to remove the outer covering.
Once this is done soak in water to soften the bean in preparation for grinding. After a while remove the water grind the beans and a little onion till you have a slightly smooth paste.
You can add small slices of onion to the paste including little pepper, curry and salt. Mix the bean paste thoroughly to integrate the ingredients.
Place your oil in a large frying bowl and apply heat. Once your oil is reasonably hot scoop small portions of the bean paste and fry in the oil.
Make sure your Akara is properly cooked by regulating the flame to prevent burning or over cooking. The consistency and look of the final product should be light brown.
Equipment Used in Making Bean Cake
The equipment used in making bean cake is simple and relatively easy to purchase. Buy a large bowl for frying including wood, charcoal and cooker.
There are many fabricated iron cookers specifically made for outdoor cooking. You also need charcoal, wood and accelerant such as kerosene to light the cooker.
Other equipment is long frying spoon, glass or plastic display case for the bean cake and plastic container for the raw bean paste. You need a small measuring spoon to scope the paste into the hot oil.
Most sellers can’t afford a grinding machine and patronize local grinders. However if you have money you should invest in a grinding machine. You would need a freezer or refrigerator to keep the remaining paste to prevent loss in revenue.
Equipment List
  • Glass Display Case
  • Large Frying Bowl
  • Long aluminum Spoon
  • Fabricated Cooker
  • Charcoal
  • Dry Fire wood
  • Grinder
  • Freezer or Refrigerator
  •  Plastic Bucket
  • Nylon or Newspaper  to Package the product
The Location
The most ideal location is in a public place with lots of human and vehicular traffic. You don’t need lots of space to display your product and fry the bean cake.
Many Akara sellers don’t have shops and make do with a table and cooker. To maximize profit Akara sellers include a few items to the menu.
They sell pap paste (ogi), bread and even garri. Bean cake is usually consumed with bread, pap or cereal.
Funding the Akara Business
Funding is relatively easy because you need very small funds to start the enterprise. You need funds to purchase a locally fabricated cooker, large frying bowl, plastic bucket and show glass.
Purchase only the amount of beans you can afford until you have a steady customer base. Try target savings or get small loans from cooperatives in your area.
Try micro-finance banks or small trade banks in your locality. You can borrow from friends and family to raise funds.
Registration and Permits
You don’t have to register your business however there are a few individual tax requirement. You need local government permit to sell at the spot you choose. Make sure you keep your environment clean to conform to environmental laws.
Selling the (Akara) Product
Your business is location specific and dependent on direct customer patronage. The only thing you can do is secure a good location and make quality products.
Make sure the size of the bean cake is reasonable and price fair. There are no marketing requirements except good tasty product. it is possible to make over a 100% profit in the business.


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