The Rozario family, from left, Martin, Jarom, Cicelia, mom, Marria and Richard. (Submitted photo)

The Rozario family, from left, Martin, Jarom, Cicelia, mom, Marria and Richard. (Submitted photo)

Catching up with the new restaurant on the block

Tom gets the lowdown on the family responsible for Foodie Heaven’s heavenly fare

Finally got a chance to catch up with Martin and Jarom Rozario. These two fellers are hard to pin down as they were working seven days a week.

They now have decided to take Wednesdays off and I was able to fit into their schedule. Jarom is the father, Cicelia is his wife. Martin is the son and Marria is the daughter. Along with Marria’s husband, Richard, this is the family team that has just opened a new restaurant in Smithers called Foodie Heaven.

They are located across the street from the Legion and your tastebuds will be quite pleasantly surprised when you get a chance to try their fare.

Jarom hails from Bangladesh and has spent his whole life becoming a 5-star chef. He has worked around the world from the Meridan Hotel in Dubai to the Champion House in the Grand Caymans. Jarom’s father was a Chef and passed the trade down to his son.

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Now Jarom would like to pass the trade on to his family. Martin, though, has other plans. After graduating from Smithers Secondary School, he enrolled in a business program and would like to manage the string of Foodie restaurants the family hopes to put together.

Marria also has her plans and is presently studying at Coast Mountain College in Smithers.

I always am curious as to how these entrepreneurs end up in our little town, so I began our conversation with that query.

Turns out Jarom has a lot of similar thoughts that most people in Smithers have.

“Bangladesh is just so crowded. The climate is wet and flooding in the spring and hot, very hot, plus-40 in the summer.

“The pollution level is over the top and it was time to look for a better place to live for my family, “ said Jarom.

“We want more opportunity to get ahead. We want a small town where people say hi on the street, where the air is breathable and the water is drinkable.”

Why not Smithers? So, that’s where they came.

Jarom originally arrived in Toronto and worked there for two years before moving to Vancouver and trying out the west coast opportunities.

It was there, while working with an immigration lawyer attempting to bring his family to Canada, that Jarom was introduced to Smithers.

His first opportunity in the Bulkley Valley came at the Tandoori restaurant in Houston and then with a transfer to Smithers, Jarom was home.

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Now it was time to start his own business.

“When you work for other people, you get to see how they run their business and you figure out how you would like to run your business. We are a true family operation. My wife Cicelia is our shopper/waitress and my daughter Marria and her husband Richard work the morning shift.

“Even my mother has a job helping. Without our team this business could not function.

“We want to offer a fresh approach. All our items on the menu are made in-house, our sauces, yogurts, dips, soups and smoothies are home-made. We buy locally. B.V.Wholesale supplies many of our bulk needs. Our meats come out of the Diamond D ranch in Telkwa. Our breads from Pauls bakery.

“I have cooked all over the world and am proficient with international fares. Our jerk chicken is authentic. We use fresh spices and less oils in our preparations and produce a healthy product for our patrons. We have our special boxed salad for sale at the Out of Hand store next door.

“And, of course, our Bangladesh Biryani , Madrasi Coconut Curry and Chana Masala are second to none.”

So what of the string of Foodie restaurants you have planned, I asked.

“Well for now we want to introduce our style to Smithers and then we can try to branch out. Working six days a week does not leave much time for relaxation.”

What do you do on your day off?

“My wife is looking forward to planting a vegetable garden and what I really want to do is go fishing,” said Jarom.

Thanks for this portion of your life story, Jarom, and all the best for your family and your future.

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