Rafi Fernandez 1944-2013
Rafi was born in India in 1944 and came to the UK in 1965. Through various travels around the globe and a constant desire to learn, she developed an incredible cooking knowledge and skill. This only grew over the years and she was able to write her first book in 1985, Malaysian Cookery. Many other books followed.
Arguably, her greatest achievement was setting up Rafis Spicebox in 1988 in the small town of Sudbury. Although Suffolk seemed an unusual place to start an Asian business, she was incredibly brave and determined for it to succeed.
As the business grew, her son Lee joined to assist with the growing demands, fuelling his own passion for food. In 2004, Rafi took another brave step and opened her York shop with the aid of her other son, Kevin. He also quickly gained a passion for food through time spent with Rafi, as her infectious manner spread across a growing team.
In later years, health issues had seen Rafi take a back-seat in operations; however, she has always been the common thread running through the business, staff and customers.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our sadness in this time of great loss but to also celebrate the life of a truly remarkable person, with an unrivalled passion and determination that will not be forgotten by anyone who ever met her.
An inspiration to the entire Rafi’s team, she will be greatly missed.