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Finding your voice 

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The Bay

From a shy 15-year-old KP, Andrew Marshall is now a confident assistant manager and one of the loudest members of staff at The Bay Fish & Chips in Stonehaven, Aberdeen

I started at The Bay in 2016, it was a part-time job while I was at school. Six years later I’m still here while I finish my Masters in Mechanical Engineering. 

My boss, Calum Richardson, has been excellent at encouraging me, giving me more responsibilities and opportunities to move up through the business so I’ve gone from being a KP to pretty much running every aspect of the shop. Depending on whether Paul, the manager, is in or not, I’ll open up, clean the range down, make up the batter and do all the frying.

It was probably about a year and a half ago that I started frying. It was so Paul could go for his lunch initially but then the manager at the time left and I was asked if I would like to take on more responsibility and, of course, I said yes.

We’re lucky at The Bay to have a gluten free pan which I trained on first. When I moved over it was tough to start with because I had these big two pans and naturally the fish all moved around! But it’s just like riding a bike, once you know how to do it and you get in to the groove, you’re fine.

We only reopened the shop to customers about two months ago. Ever since Covid hit we had been serving everyone from our window at the front of the shop. It was weird not having anyone inside but after a while it was quite good because we could play music and be a little more relaxed. Having said that, it’s great having the customers back, they love being back inside too and having a chat with us all. 

As well as the takeaway, Calum has The Bay on the Road, and he’s started getting me to go away with the van more often, now I’m old enough to drive it. He’s on holiday at the moment and I’m away this Friday to do a wedding for 40. It’s quite a small one in comparison to some of the events we cater for but it’s a big responsibility for me!

Although cooking in the van is very similar in a way to cooking in the shop there is a lot that’s different too. It’s a lot smaller for one! Turning on the range in the shop is just pressing a button, in the van there’s a lot more you have to do first – turn the gas on, open the hatch – but it’s good fun. One of the good things about a lot of the events we do is that they tend to all be pre-paid and pre-ordered so you know what you’re cooking, you know about any allergies whereas in the shop, obviously, you don’t know until the customer walks in.

I’m not totally sure what I’m going to do when I finish uni, I’ve got one more year to figure that out! But I know there are skills that I’ve learned here that I’ll be able to take with me no matter what I do, especially in terms of managing people. If anyone has a problem, they can come and speak to me and usually nine times out of 10 I can sort it out because I’ve been here for so many years I’ve seen most things happen already. I’ve also learnt the importance of communication. I didn’t really speak when I first started here. I was a shy little 5ft “2 boy who kept himself to himself. Now I’m one of the loudest people in the shop!

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