After winning the prestigious Northern Ireland Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award, Chipmongers Portstewart has taken its show on the road to the Christmas Market in Belfast.
Owners Gareth and Kat Montgomery, who have been running the shop for seven years, let one key concept guide all decisions for the business: everything must be of exceptional quality. The pair pride themselves on only using the finest ingredients and preparing each and every meal with care, dedication and precision.
In turn, they have partnered with McWhinney’s Sausages to bring its new Flamin’ Hot Sausage to Belfast to warm up visitors out enjoying the festivities. Serving the battered chilli sausage with an aioli dipping sauce, it’s a continuation of a seven year partnership between the two businesses, with Gareth selling McWhinney’s since the shop opened. “We use McWhinney’s purely for the consistency and quality,” he says. “Every box cooks and tastes exactly the same. When I tried the Flamin’ Hot, I knew it would make a perfect addition to our menu for the market and I even decided to do a special for the World Cup using it.
“We are excited and a bit nervous about the market but we are giving it our all. At the very start when we were approached about doing it, we were told that not many people get it right first time. I saw this as a challenge and have set out to break the mould.”
Gareth and Kat believe their biggest challenge is providing a product that is every bit as excellent as they serve in the shop. The team have been testing products and trialling preparations since June to perfect the process and ensure they can replicate the high quality that Chipmongers customers expect.
Back in Portstewart, the team don’t rest on their laurels. Gareth and Kat are constantly investing in the shop to modernise and make it the best that it can be.
“The plan for the next 12-18 months is to still be in business and we will do that by offering the same high quality that we have prided ourselves on for the past seven years,” adds Gareth. “We believe that this quality, plus investing in the shop to modernise and increase its energy efficiency, will solidify our future in the trade.”
Scott McWhinney, from McWhinney’s, adds: “It has been a pleasure working with Gareth and the team at Chipmongers on the launch event in Northern Ireland for our new Flamin’ Hot. I am sure the market will be popular as ever and have no doubt that the Chipmongers’ stand will be a very popular addition. Bigfoot himself has even been rumoured to be attending.”
McWhinney’s 028 9127 1811