Fish and chip shop owners and brothers Cem and Cihan Oktem are to open their third takeaway after buying a shop in Cumbria.
The pair already run two successful Lancashire chippies, Westgate in Morecambe and Packet Bridge in Bolton Le Sands. Their newest addition is Priory Plaice in Ulverston, their first takeaway outside of the county.
Priory Plaice, which started out as a toilet block before it was refurbished four years ago, closed down in December 2022. At the time, the owner cited “significant increases in rent, energy bills, and ongoing inflationary costs” for the decision.
Following a 24-month search for the right location to expand their business, co-owner Cem Oktem believes he can make a success of the takeaway.
Cem says: “When Priory Plaice came up I knew it was a good business because, through the NFFF, I’d helped the owners with their training when they set up the shop and I’d also assessed it for the Quality Award.
“It’s 45 minutes from where we are now, so it’s a completely new area with a completely different customer base. But it was too good an opportunity to say no to. The shop has been done up really well, it’s kitted out nicely and it has its own car parking spaces. It’s next to a leisure centre, which is getting a massive expansion, it has a Co-Op over the road, about three or four caravan parks, and two new housing estates. It’s just a really great opportunity for us.”
The takeaway will keep its current name, although the “i” in Plaice will be dropped, and it undergo a rebranded to bring it in line with the current takeaways. The menu will also be similar and the site will offer click and collect and a monthly gluten free day.
With a team of 10-12 staff to recruit, and a new kitchen management system and commercial dishwasher to install, Cem hopes the chippy will be open by mid to late April.
Cem envisages Priory Place will be their busiest shop and adds: “People say the recession is the best time to buy and build a business. We’ve always been positive and forward-thinking and the long-term strategy has always been the way forward for us so that’s why we wanted to take the opportunity while we could. We can’t wait now to get Priory Place open.”