Launched by Mariam Jimoh, a serial entrepreneur by her own admission, Oja is a new app designed to bridge the gap between the UK’s local selection of world food groceries, delivered to customers’ homes.
A simple solution to an often-overlooked issue for many living in the UK, Oja makes locating, purchasing and ordering cultural specialist groceries easier – creating a hyper-local, but global, marketplace.
Over 12 million ethnic minority customers’ local grocery shops are yet to be included in the online market place, often making easy access an obstacle to the everyday, something that’s been heightened throughout the global coronavirus pandemic. London born and of Nigerian heritage, Mariam Jimoh decided to launch Oja on seeing this huge disparity, hoping to ultimately revolutionise the future of the locally global food economy.
On the launch of Oja, Mariam Jimoh said: “Although born and raised in London, many cultural groups are under-served in the groceries they know and use, and in contrast there are grocery stores for various marginalised cultures that are also under-served, yet to be digitised and brought online. Combining my skill set of strategy and finance with my passion for food and wine, I decided that something needed to be done to serve these communities by bringing these goods onto the online market. Getting this right was very important to me because I am Oja’s customer.”
Hoping to challenge this oversight, in a time where the online food market is so ubiquitous (with countless meal kits, subscriptions, and delivery apps now available), Oja sources and delivers the likes of ripe plantains from Colombia, ‘nduja from Spain, and locust beans from Nigeria.
Initially launching in London, Oja’s first few stores are based in south-east London, launching with an African & Caribbean store, a Korean kimchi brand, a Chinese mini-market, and an Italian delicatessen. Oja also plans to fully launch across London by Christmas, offering full access to their services. The website will also share daily tips, facts, and recipes using culturally diverse ingredients, aiming to showcase the communities and food traditions that exist amongst us.
Simple to use at both ends, Oja customers can browse the app, shop at local multi-cultural stores and specific direct-to-consumer brands by searching via cultures, products, or specific stores. Once orders are prepared, an Oja driver will collect and deliver to the customer on-demand. Oja customers can receive products same day or schedule for any point in the week.