How did you get into the industry?
My husband Greg and I were managing a pub in Topsham, Exeter. The days were long and when our families came to visit they were shocked by how tired looking we were, so after a few months we put our notice in. That is when Greg’s parents said they were going to look for a business that we could run and then all the hard work would be for ourselves. A fish and chip shop came up in Cornwall so Greg’s parents sold their house, I said goodbye to my family and we moved in August 2002.
What is your favourite food?
Everything! So much so I used to have the mickey taken out of me, as I would be presented with a meal or snack and say, “Oh my favourite”! I just love food.
Is there any food you won’t eat?
Liver, whelks and fresh roe. It’s the texture of them. I know it’s a slight contradiction on what I said to the last question but you’ll have to let me off with these three items.
Where have you had the best fish and chips?
My nan and pops used to take me to Hanbury’s in Babbacombe as a child, I think it was my first ever experience of fish and chips. They had both owned hotels in Torbay so they were always very fussy on where to eat. Later, Greg introduced me to the chips at The Frying Scotsman in Waterside, Paignton. They had the most fabulous battered chips. So much so that we started doing our chips lightly battered when we moved down.
What side is a must for fish and chips?
If I’m having chips it has to be curry sauce. We make our own blend and it’s so moreish. If I’m having fish and chips together it has to be our mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce. It just works.
If you could open a fish and chip shop anywhere, where would it be?
Tenerife. Greg and I would like to live there one day. It just feels like our second home.
What dish reminds you most of your childhood?
Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice, crispy chicken thighs, runner beans, carrots and gravy, courtesy of my nan when she used to look after my sister and I when my parents were working.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Stinky cheese – the stinker the better! Ones that pong out the whole kitchen! I love the flavour of them and find them very satisfying.
What is your weirdest food combination?
I made a mistake once when I fancied a Brie and grape sandwich. Out of luck, we only had kiwi and Stilton. Oh goodness it was gross, I learnt those two flavours do not go!
What piece of equipment would you love to purchase for your business?
When we had our refit in 2020, we had all the equipment fitted that we needed, which included a grill and separate vegan pan with drainage, so maybe a freeze dryer so I could make dog treats with any leftover protein and sell them as add ons. At the weekend we are too busy to cook sausages for each order – I need the space for the fish – and sometimes we have a few leftover. I’ve started selling them for pets, two for 50p, and they are very popular with the customers, or rather their pets! If I could make more pet treats from our leftovers, I could sell them for over 50p, especially if presented and marketed correctly.