First look inside Huddersfield's new family-run restaurant in the town centre

A family man who fell in love with Huddersfield has opened a new restaurant in the town centre with the help of his wife and four children.

Foday Janko and his wife Mariama Baldeh opened their first restaurant, Foeyams, in Huddersfield on Sunday and say they have been heartened by the amount of support they have had from people.

The couple originally started off their food business from the family home in Newsome, and, as word spread, they branched out by opening a stall at Huddersfield Open Market and then by taking their Gambian-inspired fare to international food markets across the country.

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They are now celebrating after opening their own restaurant opposite the Open Market. Foday was, until last month, a concierge with at a Salvation Army hostel, and before that he was a support worker with healthcare provider Cygnet. Now he is a full-time restaurant owner and manager.

The couple, along with their four children, came to Huddersfield about 15 years ago after Foday says he fell in love with the 'vibe' of the town while visiting friends. He was impressed by the people and also the natural environment, he says.

Foday, who is now studying for a university degree in business, said: "I came to visit Huddersfield with my missus and fell in love with the place. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the natural vibes, the people. It is so unique."

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He loves living in Newsome with the countryside on his doorstep and just a short distance from Castle Hill.

"It is very beautiful," he adds.

Foday and Mariama, who is the chef, are keen to showcase the different aspects of the cuisine from the West African nation where they are from. Their aim is to allow people to "discover the flavour of west Africa" as well as serve up food to those already familiar with foods from The Gambia.

The menu includes starters such as lamb patties and dumplings along with curried goat and benachin, a popular Gambian dish that is prepared in one pot and consists of rice, vegetables, and meat that are all cooked together.

Foday and Mariama came up with the name Foeyams by taking their own nicknames and joining them together. Foday has credited the success of the food business down to his wife and children, Lamin, Mohammed, Fatoumata and Sheikh.

He said: "Here (in Huddersfield) we have the opportunity to show people what we've got."

Foeyams can be found in Byram Street, opposite the top entrance of Huddersfield Open Market. There is seating for 25 and a couple of tables outside for when the weather is fine. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 9am to 10pm.

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