Our Story

Our Name

Food is an important marker of cultural identity, history and lived experience for the African Diaspora. In honor of that, our founder Anne Toba was inspired to call this brand Yaji, after the signature spice blend of her birth country, Nigeria.

For West Africans, food is also core to connecting with family and friends. Our logo – a symbol from Nigeria’s ancient Nsibidi language – reflects that through its meaning of joy and happiness.

Our Founder

Anne Toba

Anne is an economic development leader, engaged in solving complex problems at the intersection of people and planet via market based solutions. With over 25 years working across Africa, Europe and the US, she has a proven track record for innovative strategies that drive long term economic and social return.

She is currently the founder and CEO of Ripples in Africa, a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit and, Yaji Spices, companies she founded to create new direct from farm supply chains between West Africa and the US market. To date she has created fair wage jobs for over 17,000 women, ensured over 68,000 children – even the girls – are in school, and reforested 100,000 acres of land.

Professionally trained in human resources and general management for the luxury hotel and culinary sectors, Anne is passionate about African food and agriculture.

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