Traditional Fish and Chips in St Neots has been shortlisted as one of the top chippies in the UK in the 2016 National Fish and Chip Awards.
One of seven to make it in the Eastern England region, the shop is one of 60 to be shortlisted across the UK in the race to lift the coveted title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.
The St Neots’ chip shop will have to see off stiff competition in the region, though, including French’s Fish Shop, in Wells-next-the-Sea, and two in Peterborough.
All the shortlisted businesses have already gone through meticulous assessments and now face further scrutiny in the coming months. The entrants will then be whittled down to 20, who will then battle it out to make it as one of the 10 regional winners across the country.
“It’s great when you’re appreciated and recognised by the industry,” said Tony Hoare, who jointly owns Traditional Fish and Chips with his brother, Matthew.
Tony and Matthew, who had no previous experience before opening the shop in 2009, put their success down to hard work and great employees.
In the latest survey the business conducts every year, 100 per cent of customers said they would recommend the shop to friends and family.
Tony, from Saffron Walden, has stringent standards for sustainability and traceability, all of which is checked by the judges, and all the fish he sells is Marine Standard Council certified.
“I know where, when and how all of the fish I use is caught and I have a display in the shop showing the boxes they came in, the boats they were caught on and the MSC certificates. And we fry everything in rapeseed oil, which has half the saturated fat of olive oil.”
Owner of last year’s award winner, Carlyn Kearney of Frankie’s Fish and Chips in Brae, in Shetland, said: “The judging process is very rigorous and challenging, but it’s worth every second of the hard work and effort.”
The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel, in London, in January 2016.