My Best-Selling Product Was A Huge Mistake!

Who likes making mistakes? No hands? I didn’t think so. We are often taught that making a mistake is bad, and that it’s something we should avoid. Because of this, we grow up being afraid to make mistakes and being afraid to fail. I was this way too, but now I realized that sometimes the best ideas come from mistakes! 

As an entrepreneur, mistakes are a part of the journey. I’ve learned this the hard way, but I am grateful for this lesson. The journey to success includes failure. Sometimes you have to fail more than once or even several times to arrive at success.

There is one mistake that comes to mind when I reflect on the early stages of creating my business. I see how a mistake I made during a very important moment was a huge blessing in disguise. At the time I felt like a complete failure, but I allowed myself to learn and grow from the “bad” experience, and it inspired me to create my first product. Today, you can find Flourish Puff Puff Mix proudly sitting on the shelves of several grocery stores throughout the great state of Oregon and in various states across the US. Let me tell you my story, in hopes that you will be inspired by the mistakes in your life too. 

It was my first catering job for a wedding - one of life’s most important celebrations. My first born child Dara was on my back; at the time she was just 4 months old. She watched over my shoulder as I prepared food for over 100 guests. Puff puff is an African treat that everybody loves and is typically prepared for parties and celebrations. For those who are not familiar with the African delicacy, puff puff is dangerously delicious fried sweet dough that puffs up into a ball when fried, hence the name “puff puff.”  

As I prepared the puff puff, I mistakenly added dry yeast to the flour instead of instant yeast! When I fried the dough, my puff puff was as flat as a pancake. I could not believe my eyes. The yeast did not poof, and I had no time to remake the dough. I felt like a major let down. The bride specifically asked for puff puff to be on the menu, and I could not provide it. Negative self-talk flooded my mind. 

After weeks of reliving the moment of the ruined puff puff, I finally granted myself compassion. The moment I did, I was able to learn and grow from the experience. I decided that I would create an instant puff puff mix, so that I could make the perfect puff puff everytime. I passionately worked day and night to create the ultimate puff puff formula. My family and friends were bombarded with puff puff for days upon weeks until I got my mix just right! 

Today Flourish Spices and African Food Instant Puff Puff Mix is my best selling product. I am so pleased to turn my mistake into a delicious experience for others. Now anyone can enjoy the perfect puff puff. All you need is water and oil to fry, and in minutes you can enjoy the African party favorite. Every time I eat my puff puff, the sweetness reminds me of how sweet mistakes can be. It’s okay to make mistakes and to fail sometimes. If you’re not making mistakes, then how are you learning and growing?


Author: Ola Elkanah | Editor: Saunsuray Govere, Samantha Jeune

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