Catching up with Clifton Village Fish Bar

What’s your favourite thing about running your own Fish & Chip shop?

First of all, let’s be clear, it’s hard work! Very rewarding when you get extremely satisfied customers, especially tourists who sometimes are eating “traditional “fish & chips for the very first time! Fish and chips have been in the family for over 70 years, with my grandmother and her family having shops in South Wales, I believe their P&T frying range was powered by Coal from the local mines?!

Have you had any famous people visit your shop? If so, who?

All our customers are famous! We get quite a few who have been spotted in no particular order, Carol Vorderman, Joe Jordan, Russell Osman, Andy Cole, some of my friends as well deserve a mention Justin Lee Collins, James Redmond (BBC Casualty & Brookside), Lee Johnson (Bristol City manager) and one of my oldest friends and most frequent visitors Mark Regan “MBE” former British lion and England rugby World Cup winner! We had a great time at school & college and always was great fun watching him play and the after international match nights out with the team and the two Princes William & Harry. My favourite was Paris and Dublin.

Also, must mention my cousin Jake Polledri currently plays for Gloucester rugby and Italy, I’m really looking forward seeing him play in the 6 nations especially v England at Twickenham in March 2019.

What made you choose a Florigo Frying Range?

This is my second Florigo range, when I bought the first range, I did around 2 years of research, looking at what was on the market, I travelled around the country and I’ve seen some sights! It became apparent that shop owners I spoke to spoke very highly of Florigo frying range and honestly other rival companies couldn’t match the performance of the equipment and the professionalism from the start from Florigo especially with the help and advice from Rob … I have the Rolls Royce of ranges and you do get what you pay for.

Describe your shop in 3 words.

Simply the best or simple, pride, passion.

What’s your personal favourite chippy dish?

Cod & chips, my home-made tartare sauce and mushy peas, lots of vinegar first and little salt!

Can you tell us a bit about you and your day to day life in the shop?

I’m married to my wife Claire and have 3 children, Alysia, Saskia & Jude, I love watching sport if I have time, season tickets @ Bristol City & Bristol rugby & the mighty reds Liverpool! I start early sometimes as early as 5.30am! This is hard work, there is a lot of preparation to be done but I love peeling potatoes! I will generally spend 2-3 hours a day doing it! I like to do the frying on the new range although I do love customer interaction.

Do you have anything extra special on the menu?

We have Marco’s special homemade tartare sauce which was originally made with myself and a very talented chef friend of mine! We have introduced a seafood platter which has been extremely popular.

What’s been the most challenging part of your Fish and Chip journey so far?

Apart from getting the right members of staff to fit into the team, potatoes! If you haven’t got good quality potatoes, there is very little you can do! In our industry we get very little or no support from the government and are often treated unfairly with regards to Vat and “pasty tax”! Big increase in prices recently and ongoing particularly with the price of potatoes and fish!

What do you see for the future of Clifton Village Fish Bar?

I think we’re in for some tough times in general for the indsutry, however would like to look for additional units and possibly a mobile van to do parties/events so I will be in touch!

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Maddi Powell

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