Darrell Randle grew up in Florida enjoying the delicious meals provided by his mother, grandmother and aunts. The flavors in their recipes and variety of foods they made are things that have stuck with him for years. In 2011, Randle and his wife Celena decided to move their family to Fargo, with hopes of a promising future ahead of them.

After trying out several local restaurants, the Randles realized the variety and flavor they had come to love were lacking on a lot of the menus. Not only that, but no one was offering the soul food they were fond of from their childhood.  The couple had some experience in the restaurant industry, saw an opportunity, and knew what they had to do. Thus, Daran’s Southern Soul Food and West Indian Cuisine was born. Since they knew their business would be family-oriented, the name Daran’s comes from the first initials of each of their kids’ names.

The Randles set up shop downtown Fargo at Square One commercial kitchen at 1407 1st Ave N. Right now, they take to-go orders, deliver, and cater meals to customers. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Celena, who has roots in the South American nation of Guyana and New York, does most of the cooking, while Darrell handles the business end of things. Their menu includes items like fried chicken, catfish, and barbecue ribs. Side items like candied yams, collard greens and mac n’ cheese round out the menu, along with sweet potato pie and peach cobbler for dessert. While Darrell has plenty of ideas himself, he admits a lot of the recipes come from his family back home. “To this day, I’m still getting ideas from my grandma,” he said.

The Daran’s menu is posted every day on its Facebook page. Pre-ordering for the next day is strongly recommended since selections often run out. Walk-ins are also welcome, but food is based on availability. So far, the most popular day has been Barbecue Friday, featuring ribs, barbecue chicken and chicken wings.

The business has had a good start, and the owners have high hopes. “We have big plans, and are hoping to have a new location by June,” Darrell said. “That’s our goal right now.” Their own restaurant will allow for expanded hours, menu, and hopefully, customer base, he added. “It’ll allow us to do everything we’ve been trying to do. The lack of flavor and food options in Fargo are about to come to an end.”


What: Daran’s Southern Soul Food and West Indian Cuisine

Where: Square One commercial kitchen facility, 1407 1st Ave. N., Fargo, ND

Phone: (701) 200-8502

Online: www.facebook.com/Daransfargo; www.daransfargo.com


By Kristin Johnson