Leeds couple save "every penny" to open dream Afro-Caribbean takeaway in Armley after lockdown success

A Leeds couple said they have "saved up every penny" they could to open their first venture into business together - with their Afro-Caribbean inspired menu proving an instant hit in Armley.

By Daniel Sheridan
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 4:30 pm

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Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

Since then, the pair said the community had welcomed them with open arms.

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Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

The idea for the takeaway sparked at a post-lockdown friend's party where Rochelle and Amadou supplied the food.

Friends and family couldn't believe the quality of the African inspired dishes - with Amadou using his experience as a chef at restaurants across Leeds to create amazing Caribbean infused flavours.

From there, Rochelle and Amadou decided to give up their previous careers in teaching and in kitchens respectively and pursue their dream of opening their own takeaway.

Speaking to the YEP from the takeaway, Rochelle said they had saved up "every penny" they had to put everything into the new venture.

Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

Together with Amadou - originally from Guinea - Rochelle was excited for their future in business together.

"It kind of came about by accident", Rochelle explained.

"We were at a friend's birthday party after lockdown and we were asked to do the food.

"People were saying 'you could make a great business out of this'.

Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

"It went from there."

The pair chose Armley for its thriving community and the lack of a similar style of takeaway food.

Originally from Harehills, Rochelle and Amadou hoped their cuisine would go down a treat in their new area.

"We have had such great feedback so far, it has been so nice", Rochelle, a former teacher, said.

Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

"The community has been really welcoming.

"Everyone has been wishing us good luck which is amazing."

Options on the menu include burgers, patties and jerk chicken.

However, the most popular food choice so far has been Amadou's curried goat - which he was busy making while the YEP visited.

"We make everything from scratch", he said.

"Pretty much all of the food is done by us.

Rochelle Wall, 52, and Amadou Diallo, 25, opened the doors to AfroSpice on Monday April 18.

"We wanted to be able to make everything we served.

"We make our own batter for the fish, our own gravy, our own sauces."

Amadou - known to friends as 'Sammy' - moved from Guinea to England in February of 2013.

Since then, he has gone from a kitchen porter role to a fully qualified chef - working at restaurants across Leeds city centre including Bar and Grill and Livin' Italy.

His signature sauce is the 'Flaming Hot Chilli' - the pair recommend also trying 'tropical mayo' which utilises mango and pineapple juices.

The couple are now using the services of JustEat for delivery and hope to grow through word of mouth.

"Early reviews have been great", Rochelle said.

"We are so excited to finally be open."