Katya do Prado was a degree-educated food health and hygiene specialist in her native Portugal.
But when the recession brought her country to its knees, she couldn’t earn enough to support her teenage daughter.
The single mum moved to Sheffield in search of a better life – and found herself working as a cleaner,
She’s not complaining; scrubbing floors and polishing desks actually earns her more per hour than her profession did in Portugal’s tattered economy.
And since setting up home in Netherthorpe, Katya found love with another Portuguese ex-pat and her daughter Nuria, now 19, has a little brother, four-year-old Lucas.
The one thing Katya really missed, though, was a taste of her homeland. “There are no traditional Portuguese restaurants in Sheffield – only Nandos, which is not really typical. We don’t eat spicy grilled chicken all day long,” says university student Nuria.
“What my mum craved for were rissois fish patties they sell in virtually every restaurant, cafe and shop in Portugal.”
Working from memory, she started making her own using frozen fish and seafood and dried, salted cod, spices and her own recipe batter. Friends and everyone said they were so good, she should go into business.”
Katya, 36, took their advice and has launched her own catering business, Nulu’s Portuguese Patties.
She can make up to 400 a day at her own kitchen table – her health and hygiene qualifications coming in handy.
“They are a taste of Portuguese sunshine,” says Katya, who sells three varieties – salted fish, prawn and cod – for 60p each or 10 for £5 at local food producers’ markets.
She hopes to supply frozen supplies in bulk to wedding and party caterers and local shops. Companies can contact her at email@example.com
If the business is a success, she hopes to open her own Portuguese restaurant in the city.