How long have you and your family been in the fish and chip business?
18 months! And what a crazy 18 months it’s been! Officially UK’s 2nd Best Fish & Chip Shop and winning the Marketing Innovation Award too!
How did your journey in the fish and chip industry begin?
We’ve always worked in corporate jobs, either retail & hospitality management, training & development, HR or corporate buying roles. For a long time though we’ve talked about stepping off the merry go round and starting our own business, but always put it off. In December 2017, Ashley had a massive car accident that he nearly didn’t walk away from, which was a wake-up call for us both. We knew the time for this business was now. So, we thought about what our skills were and looked at B&Bs, hotels, restaurants and pubs until it dawned on us that the Nation’s Favourite Dish was staring us right in the face. It’s iconic, will always be around and when it’s right, it’s so right! We then opened up a map of the UK, looked at over 200 listings and viewed about 10 businesses until we found Shap Chippy and knew that this was the business for us! Our friends in London said we were crazy to give up our jobs to cook battered sausage and chips, but I think we’ve proven that it was the right decision to make.
What is your earliest memory of fish and chips?
Strangely enough, we both have a similar memory – sitting on the seafront with our grandparents looking out to sea, eating fish and chips in paper. This is one of the reasons why we wanted to bring a seaside feel into the shop, to hearken back to that memory. We also believe in our hearts that it’s so important to make sure our fish and chips are perfect every time, as we are helping to make memories for those who visit our shop for years to come.
What are your highlights of your career in fish and chips?
We have three so far! The first has to be developing our team into management roles and watching them grow. The second is of course the National Fish & Chip Awards, ‘taking home the silver medal’ so to speak, a huge achievement for our team that’s only 18 months old. Finally, renovating the business, installing the new KFE range, bringing the business to its highest potential. There is still more to do, but we’re proud to be able to produce some of the best fish and chips in the UK!
What do you love about the industry?
We love how open the industry is, how we’re all here to help each other, to raise each other up. With training schools like KFE, NFFF and Seafish all pushing the existing industry as well as training the newcomers. We also love that it is an honour to represent the Nation’s Favourite Dish to those visiting the UK, and we never, for one second, take that for granted.