Woman brings in £119k a year thanks to side hustle


Rachel Laryea is an investment strategist for JP Morgan but has also brought in around $150,000, the equivalent of £119,000, thanks to her side hustle.

The entrepreneur is the founder of Kelewele, a plantain-based food business, based out of New York City.

Since the business’ creation in 2018, Ms Laryea has been able to grow her side hustle from a few thousand in gross revenue to just over $150,000 (£119,016).

Her idea for starting a food business focused on selling plantain-based cuisine came from her childhood.

Speaking to Marketwatch, Ms Laryea discussed how she developed her side hustle into a proper business, all while working full-time in finance.

She explained: “My love for plantains starts from as early as I can remember. I was raised by my mum immigrated from Ghana.

“She worked two jobs and I think that’s where I get my hustle mentality from.”

The businesswoman reflected on moving from Northern Virginia to study in New York where she spent her time juggling scholarships and side hustles.

During her 20s, she was able to graduate from NYU undergraduate and receive a dual PhD from Yale; all debt-free.

Ms Laryea added: “When I first moved to the city, I was living in Union Square on campus and room-and-board is ridiculously expensive.

“This random opportunity came about to be a live-in nanny and it was great because I got to live there for free.

“I got paid and being on scholarship and working, you know a bunch of jobs just to kind of make it work.”

At the time, she was looking for budget-friendly food and remembered from her childhood that plantains were affordable.

This led to her eating plantains regularly and hosting, what she refers to as “plantain kickbacks”.

These were a showcase of the variety of plantain dishes Ms Laryea was able to make for friends and family.

She said: “I started by doing festivals and pop-ups. In my early days, I was making everything out of my Brooklyn apartments.

“I was learning in real-time, all the different licencing and insurance that you have to get into getting a home baker’s licence.”

The side hustler met with food establishment owners and convinced them to stock her products which created an additional distribution channel.

Before long, Ms Laryea was selling plantain-based food products across the US thanks to her online store.

On her experience growing her side hustle, she said: “I have yet to lose any money off his business. I do not pay myself for the business, all of the revenue that’s generated I just reinvest into the business because I have the privilege of working a nine-to-five job.

“It’s just been really an opportunity to just always reinvest in the business and continue to grow it that way. My ultimate goal is retail, consumer packaged goods expansion.”

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