A SCOTTISH fish and chip shop, which was the first in the UK to put sustainably certified haddock on its menu, has been named Britain’s Independent Takeaway of the Year.
The Bay Fish and Chip Shop in Stonehaven, voted the best in Scotland for two years in succession, took the national title at the annual awards ceremony, run by Seafish, at a top hotel in London.
The chippy is run by Calum Richardson and his wife Lindsay, both previous winners of the UK young fish frier of the year award and opened in 2006.
The Bay has been at the forefront of efforts to use sustainable and traceable fish on its menu and was the first fish and chip shop in Britain to gain chain of custody certification by the Marine Stewardship Council for the North Sea haddock used in the shop’s fish suppers.
Second place in the national competition went to Simpsons Fish and Chips in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, while third place went to Hanbury’s in Torquay in Devon.
The Bay also bagged The Good Catch Award for its environmentally responsible initiatives and efforts to promote the importance of sustainably-sourced seafood
Mr Richardson said: “To be named the best fish and chip shop in the UK is a massive honour and a dream come true.”
He continued: “Over the last few years we have put so much effort into our business and take pride in what we produce and the service we give our customers. This is without doubt one of our biggest achievements to date and is a great opportunity for the business to grow. It is not without the hard work from all the staff, not to mention the support and loyalty shown by our customers and suppliers which has helped us win this award.
“To say we are delighted is an understatement and we can’t wait to take both awards back to take pride of place in our shop.”
A spokesman for Seafish said: “Ten of the UK’s best fish and chip shops fought hard for the top place, enduring an arduous judging process over the past few months, as well as presenting to a panel of industry judges in London in a Dragon’s Den style pitch. . Shops were assessed on a wide variety of judging criteria including product quality, customer service, food preparation procedures, hygiene, innovation, staff training and development, promotional activity and approaches to sustainable sourcing.”
He added: “While there are no big cash prizes up for grabs at the awards ceremony, winning the title has in the past resulted in sales increases of up to 100 per cent for the winning shop.”
Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, said: “The competition gets fiercer each year and this year was definitely no exception with the battle for top shop getting more difficult for the judges to determine. “We respect The Bay for their effort and determination throughout the entire awards process and congratulate them in taking the top accolade.
“The awards are extra special for us this time around as we celebrate our 25th year of recognising the UK’s best fish and chip shops, meaning the accolades were even more coveted. “The exceptionally high standards of entrants across all the award categories demonstrates their continual commitment to the industry and the effort towards sustainability and protecting the industry so future generations can enjoy Britain’s favourite dish.”