A smiley and quietly spoken man, Phillip Powell made his dream of opening a restaurant come true in 2016- Mama Fay’s was born on a side street of Aberystwyth’s centre, named after his mum who taught him to cook as a child.

However little did Phil know this was the start of something bigger than himself- this colourful restaurant with his mum watching over diners is the only Caribbean restaurant in town- an oasis of food and flavour to the coastal patch of Ceredigion.

Phil, who learned to cook at the elbow of his mum as the youngest of six children in Jamaica, took his cooking first to the Jamaican Defence Force and then to the British Army.

After his stint in the forces, he moved to Aberystwyth and started a stall in Aberareron market: “It was just a side hustle but people loved the food- I was overwhelmed by the response.”

On scaling up to Mama Fay’s, Aber’s response was mixed- with both flocks of students and scepticism by some neighbours (one customer asking if curried goat was similar to goat cheese).

Eventually, word got out and people began making it their regular spot, asking for Phil’s sauces and even his raw ingredients.

The 42-year-old said: “It was challenging to start but we worked hard and soon people started coming.

“I had a lot of people grateful who had been to the Caribbean or had connections to there.

“As well as the favourites - jerk chicken and curried goat - people would come in every day asking where to buy plantains, yams, cassava, ackee, goat, scotch bonnet chillis, dried spices.

“I realised I needed to do something about this.”

This year Phil opened Pansy’s Corna across the street on Portland Road, named after his Grandma who once ran her own, offering Aber residents fresh plantain, cassava and other Caribbean and world foods for the first time.

Pansy’s Corna sold 60 plantains in the first two days of opening- wiping out his stock: “I was blown away, the reaction has been amazing.”

Though Chinese and Indian restaurants already offered a respite from fish and chips, no world food shop was available for residents to cook with themselves.

The whole enterprise is a tribute to his mum who passed when he was just 19: “I grew up in the kitchen.

“We would bake together and I would follow her to her market stall. She did it on a smaller scale but didn’t have the know-how or support at the time to grow her business into something bigger, especially as a single parent.

“She did an incredible job and taught me everything I know. I couldn’t have asked for a better mum.

“The restaurant is a tribute to her, as she never got a chance to see what I’ve done.”

His grandma Pansy also passed away when he was 14: “I never got to experience her corner shop. I’ve heard lots of stories about the famous shop. It’s my tribute to her.”