In this week’s blog we catch up with Steve and Natalie from Sblash Fish Bar, located in the former fishing village of Aberdaron in the Welsh county of Gwynedd. Sblash have an 8-year-old, 3 Pan Counter Florigo range with single filtration in their shop, and in all that time have never had an issue!
How did you first get into the Fish & Chip industry?
“We got into fish and chips when we bought a cafe and small takeaway in Aberdaron, it was very run down and we had to manage whilst we saved up to build ‘Sblash’ our new fish and ship shop.”
What your favourite part of the job?
“My favourite part of the job is when customers say “that’s the best fish and chips I’ve ever had” or a customer drives all the way from Blackpool for lobster tails!”
What makes your Fish & Chip shop stand out amongst the rest?
“Our shop stands out I think because Steve is a commercial fisherman, he fishes from Aberdaron, so we can serve more uncommon seafood such as half lobsters, crab claws, deep fried lobster tails, crab cakes and gurnard.
“We also use local potatoes from Castell March Farm and fry in rapeseed oil. We spend a lot on oil, changing it often so as not to compromise the quality of the food.”
How does frying on a Florigo benefit your business?
“The Florigo range is a dream – it’s so well designed and makes frying and maintenance of the range so easy, we love it, it’s the Rolls Royce of ranges!”
What do you do in your daily routine to look after your range?
“Our fryer Paul looks after it very well, we clean it after every service and filter the oil ready for the next day.”
What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
“Having his Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for tea! That was amazing, Prince Charles enjoyed the lobster tails and they even sat with us in the fish bar for another 20 minutes they were very entertaining.”
What have you found the most challenging with running a Fish & Chip shop?
“Running a fish and chip shop is hard graft. no doubt about it. It’s physically demanding and hot work in the summer, you need good hard-working staff or it’s not possible.
“TripAdvisor can be difficult too; we serve hundreds of customers but there is always one! Instead of asking at the time, the odd one will put a bad review, after all our hard work it’s frustrating, I was in Iceland and they have a board outside and write the bad review onto that, I might do the same thing this season!”
What does the future hold for Sblash?
“Our business improves from year to year, we try to give our customers something new if we can, we have a great gluten free following and we feature in the gluten-free dining website, some families are in tears as they haven’t been able to have fish and chips for years, it’s a good feeling.
“Our sharing platter is a huge success so maybe a different combination for this season, we will see, I would like to do some flavour batters also.”
Big thanks to Steve and Natalie for taking the time out to answer our questions! If you enjoyed the blog and want to find out more, follow them on Facebook using the link below!