It's been a memorable year for Frankie's with plenty of highs and even some time off for Carlyn and her team
After an incredibly busy year as the UK’s No.1 fish and chip shop, we treated ourselves to the luxury of some time off over Christmas and New Year.
For the first time in ages we were able to reflect on our year as champions and to think about where Frankie’s goes from here. It was a fabulous, and at times frenetic, year, but because of that it has flashed by and it is difficult to believe that it is almost over.
As a result of winning the Best Independent Fish and Chip Takeaway of 2015 award, our shop has been busier than ever and we have been fortunate to meet a huge range of new people, from customers to those working directly in the trade or in the supply chain.
The fish and chip trade is all about people, and we are always delighted to engage because we know from experience that we all learn from each other.
We have been determined not to let all that has been going on prevent us from attending trade events and functions around the country.
Shortly after we returned to Shetland from London last January, it became clear to us that we would be going to Japan to take part in the Hankyu department store annual British Fair, as our predecessors the Fuscos and Calum Richardson had done.
It was to be the highlight of our year, but it involved a lot of work and logistical precision to get us, our ingredients and the right equipment halfway around the world.
Prior to the trip, we also had several visits from the fair’s very professional organisers, including one by a TV crew with more members than we have staff at Frankie’s! I wrote about the visit to Fukuoka and Osaka in this column in October
- so I won’t dwell on it here.
Amid all this, we found ourselves making headlines for two further awards – we were Highly Commended in the first ever seafood Restaurant of the Year award run by Seafish and The Caterer
magazine and were presented with a Taste Our Best award by the tourism authority VisitScotland.
And we held our fifth annual Frankie’s Charity Cycle Sportive at the end of August, raising more than £6,000 for the Fishermen’s Mission, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK.
We have continued to invest time and resources in our excellent staff, with training at the forefront, and I was pleased that our chef, Brian Kennedy, made such a good presentation in the food theatre at the Shetland Food Fair, cooking a superb paella.
In terms of new initiatives, we successfully launched our very own batter – Frankie’s Finest – for sale and now that 2016 has arrived watch out for news of further developments at Frankie’s.
It just remains for me to thank Helen Edmonds and the team at Fry Magazine
for allowing me to share all my thoughts over the year and all of you for reading them! Best wishes.