Adenah Bayoh embodies the American dream. 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 is the founder and CEO of Adenah Bayoh and Companies, which is the parent corporation that owns IHOP franchises in Newark, Paterson, and Irvington, New Jersey and a real estate development portfolio with over $250 million dollars in urban redevelopment projects. Because of the success of her flagship IHOP in Irvington, she is the second largest employer in the Township. In late August, Adenah will launch Cornbread, her signature line of fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurants.
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 college, she secured a job in banking and began purchasing multifamily 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 decided to use the profits generated from her real estate investments to open an IHOP in Irvington, New Jersey. After overcoming financial challenges and a learning curve, she cut the ribbon on her first location at age 27, making her one of the youngest IHOP franchisees in the country. In 2010, her location was the fastest-growing in the Northeast, and it remains one of the top grossing in the region. Adenah continues to build on her success; 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 U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Robin Washington, the CFO of pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences; and Oscar winning actress Viola Davis.
On June 22, 2015 she proudly cut the ribbon on her second IHOP in Paterson, New Jersey located in the Center City Mall.
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. In 2012, she partnered with two other developers to purchase the former Irvington General Hospital site, which had been vacant for nearly a decade, and transform it into an unprecedented $200 million dollar residential and retail community. Additionally, she is in pre-development on the construction of another urban renewal project that will provide 40 residential units in Irvington.
Adenah is also philanthropically involved in the communities where she does business. At IHOP Irvington, she runs a free breakfast program for children under 12, and she hosts dinners for needy families during the holidays. In addition, she allows local nonprofit organizations to hold charitable events at both IHOP locations.
Adenah’s 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.
Adenah is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where she earned a degree in Business Management. Despite her numerous successes, her proudest achievement is being a mother to her two young children.