Hyde Park couple's AYO Foods celebrates West African cuisine

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC 7 Chicago is featuring Black-owned businesses this week. On Wednesday, it was AYO Foods.

The company was co-founded by the husband and wife team Fredrick and Perteet Spencer.

The couple from Hyde Park said AYO Foods is a celebration of West African Cuisine.

AYO Means "joy" in Yoruba, one of the many languages spoken in West Africa.

These savory and spicy recipes have brought joy to the Spencer family for generations. AYO foods feature nutrient-dense, flavor-infused dishes and can be found in the frozen food section at select retailers across the U.S.

Each has 20 years of experience in the packaged food industry and had a passion to bring family recipes and variety to the frozen food arena.

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Perteet and Fred started to see the frozen market shifting toward more premium options, with more and more ethnic products entering and having success, but their story was not being told. They suspected there were other families like theirs, and knew there were also a lot more who may not have ever had West African food, but were excited to try it.

"You know we do feel like we're putting a bit of ourselves out there, and we're just really grateful that people are honoring that. I think what's the most rewarding is when our customers tell us about their connection to the food and some happy memory they have," Perteet said.

They are looking forward to expanding AYO Foods' line beyond frozen entrees and sharing more West African food in the market.

Visit ayo-foods.com for more information.
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