UK Enterprise 2020

61 | UK Enterprise Awards 2020 Pjdee’s African Cuisine provides a truly authentic culinary experience for all of those looking for something, to put it simply, special. We spoke to Janet Tindan, Owner of Pjdee’s, to find out more about her experience, expertise and drive to deliver exceptional Ghanaian food to the masses. Most Authentic African Catering Company 2020 - Northern England & Event Catering Customer Service Excellence Award 2020 Jun20212 Pjdee’s is a small – but ever growing- family business that has evolved from the simple act of cooking for family and friends. Since then, Pjdee’s has become a full-fledged catering company, providing for corporate events and large gatherings alike. Since its establishment, it has secured contracts with hotels and restaurants and is now looking forward to creating new business opportunities in the coming year on the back of a particularly challenging couple of months. Indeed, before the lockdown, Pjdee’s was invited for Caribbean Festival at the Leeds KirkGate Market to showcase Ghanaian cuisine – but, of course, that never came to be. Like many, Janet had to pivot her business model slightly to cater to our new socially distanced world, as she moves on to discuss. “We now offer takeaways on demand and started to support a charity- Involve Learning Centre- to better help the community during the pandemic. This aligned well with our core values – to support local and British products, support mental health, and promote healthy eating during this time.” It would be remiss to gloss over the importance of these values when talking about Pjdee’s success and ethos. While the spirit of her food lies on the African continent, its heart remains entirely British. “Above all else, we endeavour to support local farmers and value their contributions. We only source high quality, local British produce. We also source my African spices from renowned African stores to ensure that the quality is never short of exceptional.” After all, while Pjdee’s certainly distinguishes itself by focusing on African cuisine, the greater hospitality landscape relies on exceeding expectations. Other than the immense changes presented by the pandemic, the biggest setback that Janet has faced was the loss of her daughter in 2016. Her memory is what motivates Janet to press on, “regardless of the pain and despair.” She aims for progress, success and optimism – in all things. Ultimately, the UK provides a unique opportunity to introduce Authentic Ghanaian Cuisine to the British public. Since moving to West Yorkshire, Janet has been embraced by the love, humour, friendliness and the opportunity to be herself, with a sense of belonging. As testament to this, Pjdee’s was recently awarded the Leeds Prestige Award (2020) for being the African Catering Company of the Year. The message is clear – Pjdee’s has firmly established itself as a mainstay in Leeds and the surrounding area. It’s a part of the community. A respected member of the culinary scene. In light of this, Janet has a mission to establish branches nationwide, creating affordable delicious Ghanaian Cuisine for everyone, everywhere, anytime. Moreover, she also wants to be a driver of social change, creating employment opportunities, supporting charities, schools and events - especially ones that promote mental health. Due to the current pandemic, she has really embraced small scale delivery via takeaway orders, with the hopes of expanding and continuing even after the country is back on its feet. Finally, she hopes to take Pjdee’s African Cuisine to new heights, perhaps even to a Michelin standard. We are sure she is going to achieve all of that and more. Company: Pjdee’s African Cuisine Contact: Janet Tindan Website: Email: