Meet the New Jersey Woman Who Owns Over $200 Million in Real Estate and Several IHOP Franchises
Meet the New Jersey Liberian-American Woman Who Owns Over $200 Million in Real Estate and Several IHOP Franchises.
35 year old Adenah Bayou has built her American dream by acquiring a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio and restaurant ventures. At age 13, she escaped the civil war in her native country of Liberia, immigrated to the United States, and is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in her home state of New Jersey.
Adenah owns and operates several individual IHOP franchises in Newark, Paterson, and Irvington, New Jersey with a fourth location set to open in the winter of 2020 in downtown Newark, New Jersey. She also owns a real estate development portfolio with several major residential and commercial urban redevelopment projects across northern New Jersey. Because of the success of her flagship IHOP in Irvington, she is the second largest employer in the Township.
In late 2017, Adenah realized her dream of opening her own signature fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurant, Cornbread, which she co-founded with Zadie B. Smith in Maplewood, New Jersey. In 2019, through a landmark partnership with Walmart, the restaurant chain expanded to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with locations in Walmart stores in West Mifflin, Tarentum, and Greensburg.
Guided by a commitment to service, Adenah continually invests in her staff. New hires are trained in life skills that not only apply to their work in the restaurant, but also serve to benefit them in their own lives.
Adenah began her career as an entrepreneur at an early age. After attending a public high school in Newark, New Jersey and putting herself through Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned a degree in Business Management, she secured a job in banking and began purchasing multi-family homes as investments. Following the financial success of these investments, she left her banking position to concentrate on building her own businesses focused on transforming and empowering disadvantaged communities.
Inspired by her grandmother, who owned a restaurant in Liberia, Adenah used the profits generated from her real estate investments to open an IHOP in Irvington, New Jersey. When Adenah cut the ribbon on her first IHOP location at 29, she was the youngest IHOP franchisee in the country. Because of her relentless commitment to excellence and customer service, by 2010 the location had become the fastest-growing in the Northeast, and it remains one of the top grossing in the region.
Adenah continues to build on her success and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. She is a sought-after speaker by business, professional, and community organizations; universities; and women’s associations. Moreover in March 2014, she was honored as one of the Top 50 Women in Business by the publication NJBIZ and was the cover story in its March 24th issue. In January 2015, she was appointed to the prestigious Federal Reserve Bank of New York Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture. In December 2015, she was named to Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list alongside such luminaries as former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Oscar winning actress Viola Davis. In 2019, she won the National Restaurant Association’s Face of Diversity Award.
After expanding her real estate holdings with the acquisition of larger sites, she decided to take the bold step of transitioning from buying, selling, and renting properties to full-scale real estate development.
Source: Black Enterprises