The Eleftheriou-Karageorge family bought Grimsby Fisheries in the heart of Leicester in the early 1960s and, over the years, worked hard to turn it into the popular fish and chip takeaway that it is today.
Naturally, the menu has changed. Whereas in the early days haddock was the only fish for customers to tuck into, now sales are split 60/40 haddock and cod, with gluten free available on Mondays. Plus, there are burgers, kebabs and southern fried chicken – and that must-have side mushy peas is now accompanied by baked beans too.
There have, unfortunately, been casualties – cod roe and fresh plaice have gone as tastes have evolved and demand has fallen. One consistent item on the menu, however, has been Pukka.
Owner Lefteris Eleftheriou (Lefty), comments: “My father used to tell me how Trevor Storer came to the shop with a box of pies and got him to try them. That was back in the early ‘60s and we’ve used them ever since.
“We always found Pukka pies to taste great and offer value for money so there has been no reason to change. They have been a successful product throughout the years.
“I’ve tried other pies myself and you never get that Pukka pastry, that’s special. And the filling is consistent too.”
Selling Chicken & Mushroom, Steak & Kidney, and Minced Beef & Onion varieties at £2.50 each, Lefty boosts profits by bundling a pie into a lunchtime meal deal throughout the week.
With commodity prices soaring – the chippy has seen a 225% increase in the cost of palm oil and an 80% jump in fish in the last 12 months – Lefty has had no option but to put the price of his fish and chips up. Having Pukka on the menu, however, has enabled him to offer a good value, tasty meal option and retain customers.
He explains: “Recently, the large price increases have put the cost of fish and chips up to around the £10 mark, so it has become an expensive meal. With Pukka, we can provide a good quality meal at a good value price which means customers can have a filling meal that’s not far off £6. If customers just want a pie, then it’s even less than that. That’s helped us stay competitive with other shops in the area too.”
Lefty uses two branded pie warmers to ensure his pies are ready when customers are, as well as a pavement swing sign and free-of-charge merchandise, such as a Pukka branded open and closed door sign and posters in store.
As well as promotional support, it’s the close relationships Pukka maintains with its customers that Lefty has come to appreciate, adding: “All suppliers have issues from time to time, but with Pukka it’s very easy to speak to somebody. In the case of a problem, the Pukka customer service or quality team always call me to resolve any problems quickly and effectively. To me, they operate like the family business they are still, which is important. I’m definitely not looking for another pie company.”
Pukka 0116 264 4000 www.pukkapies.co.uk