A restaurateur, a cook and a incredibly humble being are words that best describe Pandora,

the owner of Pandaberry: a Jamaican restaurant in Finchley, North London. A place where diners can

experience a true taste of Jamaican food without visiting the island itself! She is a tough

entrepreneur with a heart of gold, who loves what she does but can admit to have faced

challenges in the early stages of developing her business.


Originally from St Ann, Jamaica, Pandora states that life was hard back home as she and

her family came from poverty. It was this adversity that made her strive for success. She hoped

for her life to change for the better.  When she arrived in England in the late 1980s she

worked as a nurse, but wanted to do her own thing, you know, try a little business venture

and be her own boss. Someone made her aware of a space available in Finchley where she could

set up shop: ironically, the space had been a place where she used to work. It seemed like a

good choice but she experienced self doubt and others trying to discourage her, which initially

made her cancel going forward with the restaurant the first time that she could have purchased it.

However, her spirit was unsettled and a voice told her that the location was destined to be hers.

When she went back to the people dealing with the space, it was fate that it was still unoccupied.

Pandora was clueless on how to run a business but knew that no matter what she was going to

make it work; there was no option to turn back now.

Fast forward six years and Pandaberry is still going strong. The food is original and

uncompromised. Likewise, the customers are diverse and can’t get enough. Pandora states

that they have the best Jamaican food in North London. Every plate is their signature dish.

From homemade punches to jerk chicken, snapper to oxtail, curry goat to saltfish fritters,

they have it on the menu and it is all made authentically. Furthermore, the presentation of

it all is impeccable. The kind that you have to take a picture of before

tucking in, I mean it’s only right!


Moreover, Pandaberry is more than a just a business but a safe space for people to

come and feel at peace. Pandora recalls times when she has spoken to customers and given

them a word of encouragement when they have been going through hard times:

“It’s not all about the money”, she says, “but I don’t try and get too involved into their business.

I just let them know that everything will be okay!” This comes as no surprise as many

of her customers have been going there for years.


With all that said, it is evident that going forward with the business was the best decision that

Pandora could have made,  not only for herself but for the community of Finchley and

others visiting the area who want to taste genuine Jamaican food.

One bite will have you craving more!


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