A new fish and chip shop venture at Westwoodside is pulling in the punters, and has created eight new jobs for local people.
Entrepreneur David Daws, who lives on Brethergate in the village, began by building a village hairdressing business last year, then spotted the need for a quality chippy.
The Chip Inn opened recently on Newbigg, and its reception has been off the scale in terms of numbers, said a delighted Mr Daws.
He wanted a nostalgic theme for the shop, and has gathered a number of photographs - of former village fish shops and similar themed pictures. They have all been framed by Epworth accredited picture framer Daniel Pluta, and are displayed attractively around the walls.
“I contacted Haxey and Westwoodside Heritage Society to see if they could point me in the right direction and they were extremely helpful,” said Mr Daws.
“They came up with some great photographs of former village chip shops, and I put these together with other related photographs such as potato pickers and old fishing boats, and they all reproduced well.
“It’s a sort of pub ambience within the shop.”
There is also an original bag from the first fish and chip ‘touring’ shop in the village, dating back almost a hundred years.
“It’s interesting to see the names and the old spellings - Westwoodside was split in to two words then, and the shop was referred to as a high class fish and chip saloon,” said Mr Daws, 59.
The motto was ‘quality and civility’ which I rather like. We’ve framed the bag too so that people can enjoy it.”
The Chip Inn sources all its produce locally and includes home-made fish cakes and ‘Proper Pies’ from Wroot.
Head frier Trevor Bee, 63, had never fried a chip before joining the business, said Mr Daws.
He added: “Trevor is a distant relative of Gordon Kelsey who had the original Westwoodside chippy, and he went off to Leeds on a fish friers’ course that is run by the National Fish Friers’ Federation to learn his trade.
“He has a new career in his sixties and loves it,” added Mr Daws.
“We seem to be doing very well. People must have been missing a local chippy because we got a real welcome.”
He added: “I wanted to do something different after selling my previous business that I had for over 12 years, and so far so good.
“I think people appreciate us using good local produce. Fish and chips aren’t a particularly cheap option anywhere any more, so it’s important that customers enjoy what they buy.
“We cook to order and that ensures that what we sell is totally fresh and people know what they are getting.”