It was a personal tragedy that led to Delaram Fatemian taking over The Conservatory cafe in Wakefield city centre.
She was living with her husband Abbas in Qatar when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
After he died in 2012 she received a letter from her father-in-law instructing her to return to Iran, where she was born, and that her two daughters should be in the care of her late husband’s family.
She decided differently and instead moved to Britain.
And in November 2017, via Birmingham and Morley, she took over the Victorian cafe on Little Westgate.
Support from customers and her own determination has made a success of the new venture.
She said: “After my husband died I thought ‘I have to be strong or I will lose my kids’.
“I haven’t seen my family for five years and I know that until the end of my life I can never go back to Iran.”
It’s an incredibly difficult set of circumstances, there’s no question about it, but there is a genuine joy and enthusiasm to how Delaram runs her cafe.
She said: “I try to make people smile and change their mood when they come into the cafe because I know that life is too short.
“People in Wakefield supported me so much when they heard my story. I have always appreciated what British people have done for me and my daughters.
“I’ve learned a lot from speaking to some of the older customers at the cafe and the experiences they have had in their lives. And I want to make sure all the other single mums know they can live however they want.”
Try: It’s worth popping in just to have a look at the unchanged Victorian tea room interior of the building. Delaram confirmed: “We’ve kept everything the same but even if we wanted to change anything the building would probably fall down if we tried!” The menu is traditional homemade cafe food and the coffee can hold its own with anywhere in the city.