Residents and food fans joined members of the local Thai community to experience a taste of Far Eastern culture when Elland’s Thai takeaway café received a Buddhist blessing.
SukanThai Food in Southgate, Elland, was blessed by Buddhist monks from the Watbuddharam Temple in Headingley, Leeds, to celebrate the success of the venture and bring happiness and prosperity for the future.
The monks, dressed in their traditional robes, started the ceremony with prayers and ancient Thai chants, before blessing the premises and guests with holy water. People from Thai communities across Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford attended the packed event along with guests from the local community, who were also invited to share in the ceremony with owner Kiyara A-Roonchai and her team.
The takeaway and cafe opened in the centre of Elland last summer, creating six new jobs. Like its sister venue, SukanThai in Cleckheaton, it is named in honour of Kiyara’s late grandmother, Sukantha, who lived in Thailand and is her inspiration.
Kiyara came to England with her mother as a child from Thailand and practises Buddhism which, she says, is more of a philosophy of life than a religion, encouraging qualities of spiritual awareness, kindness and wisdom.
She said: “It was wonderful to welcome so many friends, both new and old to our little ceremony in Elland. In Thai culture, when we start a new business, like a shop, or even get a new house or car, we like to receive a blessing which we believe will bring us good fortune and keep us safe. It was also a chance to thank our customers for their support so far in getting SukanThai Food off to a brilliant start”.
The former Jumping Clay children’s craft shop premises was given a major refurbishment to turn it into the new takeaway.
Kiyara said the culinary theme for the Elland cafe was “Thai with a twist”, taking traditional Thai cooking and reinventing the old recipes to create something totally new. The dishes are “health-conscious” with little or no added sugar, very little salt content, and no monosodium glutamate added and many are suitable for people on healthy slimming diets. Kiyara is currently working on some new vegan options to extend the menu.
The venue has recently paired with the new Elland Craft and Tap micropub next door, so that customers can now enjoy craft ales in the café to wash down their food or a Thai meal in the bar with their beer.
As well as offering an exotic option to cook at home, SukanThai Food provides a peaceful haven for people working in Elland, during their lunch breaks and after work, and welcomes hungry shoppers and other people visiting the town.