PLEASE NOTE: This interview took place in March before COVID 19 Lockdown. New rules and guidelines have been issued since.
Can you tell us how you started out in the industry?
I have always been into food and I come from a very food-oriented family. My parents own a butcher’s shop, my older brother does outside catering and my younger brother deals in fruit & veg. My whole family is involved with food and we are all very passionate about it.
Around 14 years ago we bought a fresh fish business, we expanded it a lot and used to call on around 600-700 doors in 4 days, we had a big customer base. 13 years later, people shop completely differently now, we don’t have the younger generation coming up filling those spaces, however, it’s our roots and I want to carry on with it for as long as I can.
When I first had the fresh fish business, I used to travel to Weymouth to pick up fresh lobster. One night I stopped outside Daniels Fish & Chips with my Dad. When we went in to collect our order, they gave me the money back because I’d waited so long. Once I’d eaten, I went back in and gave the money back, I told them anyone that can cook fish & chips to that standard deserves to be paid for it! 3 or 4 years later, this shop (Something Else Fishy) became available, the first thing I did was ring Daniels for some advice and I’ve never looked back.
What effect has winning the Seasonal UK Seafood Award had on your business?
The publicity we get off the back of winning an award is priceless. I feel extremely proud to have won this award especially for the staff too, we have some great staff here and we will continue to strive for Best Restaurant or Best Takeaway. I’m really pleased for John at Cod Scallops for winning the Best Fish & Chip Takeaway Award. I’ve known John for a while, and we’ve been competing in some of the same categories too. To win those awards you have to have it all, not just have good fish and chips.
The feedback we get from the awards is always important. The standard is so high and that’s what I love about it! We need it to be as if the judges are coming in every day. We buy fresh lemons every week so we can send out a slice of lemon and parsley with every portion of fish and chips sold.
Can you tell us a bit about the seafood you offer?
We do a lot of different seafood, people can come and have half a lobster, crab sandwich and fish & chips all under one roof, we cater for everyone. In the evening, the restaurant is buzzing, it’s such a great atmosphere.
What do you enjoy the most about your Florigo range?
It has honestly been the best thing we have done for a long time and if I had to do it all over again, I would buy a Florigo. We knew we had to buy a new range as our old Florigo was 25 years old but looking back on it now I wish we’d had a new range 4 or 5 years ago!
I did have other manufacturers in at the time but they were not as thorough as Florigo when looking at my business and what was best for it. When Robert (Florigo MD) came in, he left no stone unturned.
I’m really pleased with the range. I wish we had the money to do it years ago but we’re lucky enough to have done it now and I believe we have bought the best range that we could.
The filtration is very good and we filter twice a day. We have a gluten free pan that doesn’t have the filtration due to its use and it shows you what a difference the filtration makes because we have to change the oil a lot more than the other 4 pans and we don’t use the gluten free pan anywhere near as much!
You achieved a Top 5 finish for UK’s Fish and Chip Restaurants is this an award you’ll enter again?
Definitely! We’ve been in the Top 10 for a few years and now pushed up to Top 5 for Best Restaurant. We love going to the awards and this year we took a few staff and my mom and dad came too, it was really special.
What does the future hold for Something Else Fishy?
I can see us being here a for a very long time. I love the personal feel we’ve got here; I don’t think we could re-create it. I want us to be at the top of our game, it’s not just a fish & chip shop, we are trying to be more than that with all of the different fish we offer.
Nicky hosts an afterschool cooking club and its always fish orientated. 2 years ago, we did a pop-up restaurant in the school hall and taught the kids how to cook. Then we invited the parents to come in and their kids cooked and served a 3-course meal. We set up a week by week schedule with the Year 6 class. First week we did costings, second week was environmental health teaching them the importance of washing your hands and always working on a clean surface. Those kids are tomorrows customer and they were great at what they did too. We might do more things like that in the future.
The lovely thing about Fish & Chips is that there is always a story behind it. People reminisce of the old days. Customers have memories bought back to them sometimes 40-50 years ago just by eating something. I think its special that food can do that with people.
Big thank you to Martyn & Nicky and staff for having us!
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