“When I came here to the UK halloumi wasn’t always available. So I start to make the cheese for my family,” Alsous, 33, tells The Independent. In Syria, Alsous had gained a pharmacy degree and her husband was an electronic engineer and business owner. But in the UK, they struggled to find jobs.
Soon, the breakfast staple became a lifeline as she realised she could turn the moreish cheese she was making using local, Yorkshire milk into a business. With a £2,500 loan from the Local Enterprise Agency, Alsous was able to launch Yorkshire Dama Cheese in 2014. Since then, Dama has been decorated with awards including the World Cheese Award Gold Prize 2016, shortlisted for the best cheese at the 2015 Delicious Yorkshire food festival, and nominated by former Prime Minister David Cameron for recognition on International Women’s Day 2015.
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