Street Hustle Accra: A day in the life of a chop bar operator making ends meet to support her family

The subject for today's 'Street Hustle Accra', a chop bar operator, Selina Abbey tells us about how she survives in life with her field of work.

Chop bar

Selina is a mother of 4 and she is doing this business to support her husband and her household. She sells fufu, banku, kokonte, rice balls with any kind of soup at her bar.


My wake up time is 4am. I wake up this early to make sure I prepare something for my family before I leave the house. After my chores, I leave for work at about 5am to check if my workers are in. After I check my bar, I go to get some food stuff for the bar.

While I leave for the market, my workers prepare the food and get ready for the day.

I return to the bar at about 8:30 to 9am and check if the food is ready. If the food is ready, I make sure they are well packaged and made ready for sale,

If it’s not ready, I help in its preparation so that we can finish early.

Latest by 10am, the food should be ready for sale.

Although my food is meant for workers in the vicinity, I still get people patronising right from morning to the evening.

So, from 10am, I begin sales.


My afternoons are usually for work. I have less to do during this time because my customers come to eat. Usually, my staff sell the food and I collect the money so there isn’t much to do. I make sales from about 12pm when workers go on a break till about 3pm.

After 3pm, sales become low because workers resume active work or are ready to close from work. However, I still make small sales from people living in the neighbourhood and children who return from school.

At about 4pm, my children return from school so I have to switch from work to mode and take care of their needs.

Usually by 4pm, my food gets finished so we begin to prepare the soups meant for the following day. This should take me some 3hours to finish.


At about 5pm, I begin to cook dinner for my family alongside monitoring the soups being prepared for the next day.

Despite operating a chop bar, my husband hardly eats what I prepare for my customers so I have to always make dinner.

So I feed my children when dinner is ready and then I package my husband’s food as well.

At about 7:30pm, we should have finished with everything and closed. We set off to the house.

Sometimes, my husband picks us (my children and I) from the bar and then we go home.

I then serve my husband his food and supervise my children to shower.

So when my husband finishes eating, he checks if the children have homework from school then he helps them do the work while I shower.

By 8:30 to 9pm, I should be done with almost everything and ready for bed.

I chit chat with my husband for a while, pray and then sleep.

Best moments

This work is flexible for me, maybe because I am the boss but the good thing is I have the time to do other things I wish to do without stress because I know my workers will take care of things while I am away.

I get to know a lot of people of different backgrounds and professions so anytime I need help, they are not hesitant to help me.

Also, the food business is also very lucrative. You just have to be vigilant.

I eat the food, my workers eat and my children eat too but I still make profit.

Honestly, it is one of the flexible and profitable jobs I know of.


Being the owner of a bar is very tough. You need to make sure the food always tastes good.

There is no room for laziness, if you do, then know that you stand a chance of collapsing the business.

It’s hard to trust the workers especially when it comes to the income. Honestly the profit I make while I am around is always not the same as times when I am away.

Being a family woman too is very challenging. I have always thanked my husband for taking care of the children in the morning while I go to the market, if not I will always not make time.

With all these challenges, I love this job and I will encourage my fellow women in this job to be vigilant and consistent with what they are doing, they will reap what they have invested.

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