News & Insights

Meet Our Founders: Abena Antwi

Abena Antwi


Published June 8, 2022

As part of our ‘Meet Our Founders’ series today, we introduce Abena Antwi, Founder of Ashanti Styles based in Apex, NC. Ashanti Styles is the company that brings you Queen’s Jollof Sauce. Queen’s Jollof Sauce is handcrafted to help you make authentic Jollof Rice and many other delicious meals with ease. This rich flavorful shortcut is created over hours of slow roasting tomatoes, vegetables and herbs in olive oil.

Q: What problem are you trying to solve and what influenced you to start your company?

A: I grew up very poor in Africa, I remember at the age of 7 I was selling boiled peanuts on the streets to help pay my school fees and books. My grandma had a little Kiosk that she used to sell provisions. I moved to this country about 30 years ago and always love seeing people embracing African cultural and the people. I moved to North Carolina from New Jersey about 14 years ago and I don’t see a lot of African inspired stuff in the area. I want to bring a little bit of my culture to NC especially, and also around world.

Q: What are you most excited about right now? What keeps you up at night?

A: I am very excited about receiving this grant. It is going to help grow my company by allowing us to increase volume so that we can sell at different places, giving more people access to try our delicious sauces. I am also excited about having funds to help design our labels, packaging and website.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?

A: I am enjoying seeing my business expanding and people loving our sauces. I get very emotional anytime I get tagged on social media by our customers using our sauces to create different dishes that their families are enjoying, particularly repeat customers coming back with their friends to stock up for the week. I am always looking to connect with people across the food and beverage industry (retailers, suppliers, distributors, investors) to network and help take my business to the next level.

While visiting Apex and the surrounding areas, Abena recommends:

  • Since I love food so much, I will direct them to Salem Street in Apex for a yummy meal at Peak City Grill, shopping at Elk Local Foods, walking at the Nature Park or the American Tobacco Trail and taking a short drive to Jordan Lake for a nice summer picnic.

Support Abena and Ashanti Styles by

  • Visit us at the Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina Farmer’s Market, Elk Local Foods in Apex and Bulldega Urban Store in Durham. You can also visit our store online at Make sure to share your experience with friends and family by tagging and liking our social media pages at @queensjollofsauce.