From Sweet Beginnings to Jam-Packed Impact, Iona Alumna and Entrepreneur Makes a Difference in Her Community and Beyond

Alumni Success, Entrepreneurship

Iona University alumna Aiyenede Akhigbe ’00, ’03MA is the owner and flavor creator of Sticky Spoons Jam, LLC, a jam and preserve company. Akhigbe makes over 100 flavors free from preservatives, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup from locally grown fruit based out of her Michigan hometown. Sticky Spoons Jam flavors range from "Lunar Eclipse” and “Peach Basil Jalapeno” to “Blueberry Lavender” and over 100 more.

“I love watching customers sing and dance when they sample some of my unique flavors,” Akhigbe said. “Knowing that my products move people emotionally allows me to be as adventurous as I can when creating new flavors.”

Prior to founding Sticky Spoons, Akhigbe was a Third-Class Petty Officer, Engineman in the United States Navy, where she earned her Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Pin after six months aboard a warship.

Akhigbe attended Iona for her undergraduate and graduate school experiences, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications in 2000 and Master of Arts in Corporate Communication in 2003.

During her time at Iona, she was involved in the Pre-Law Club and Campus Ministry, where her love for helping others flourished. Akhigbe’s most impactful Iona memories were from the Midnight Runs through Iona’s Campus Ministry programs.

“Seeing how we as students could for a few hours positively impact the lives of NYC’s unhoused population is the experience that remains forefront,” Akhigbe shares.

Through Sticky Spoons Jam, Akhigbe and her team support local programs while also collecting food, clothing and toiletries for the unhoused population.

“Iona allowed me to be an individual,” Akhigbe said. “The small class sizes, the ability to chat with professors face to face and interact with a diverse student body paved the way to feel comfortable whether serving in the Navy or offering samples of jam at various markets.”

Read more about Sticky Spoons Jam here.