A COUPLE who took over a Pudsey fish and chip shop just 18 months ago are celebrating after it was named winner of the Yorkshire Evening Post Chippy of the Year competition.
Yorkshire Evening Post readers have voted The Bearded Sailor on Robin Lane their favourite chippy of 2017 in the popular annual contest.
Former Pudsey Grangefield High School maths teacher Alex Papaioannou and ex-Asda buyer Hannah Hall bought Graveleys fish and chip shop last May and renamed it The Bearded Sailor in March this year.
They spent thousands of pounds revamping the shop and takeaway and took a three-day course at the National Federation of Fish Friers centre in Meanwood before shadowing the former owners at Graveleys.
They were still novice fryers when the shop came in the top ten in the YEP Chippy The Year 2016 competition.
Mr Papaioannou, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to win the competition this year.
“We have worked really hard to produce the best possible fish and chips and we are just really happy that the YEP readers have recognised our efforts and voted for us.
“We don’t compromise on quality at all. We have got high standards when it comes to cooking the food and for service and we have got an absolutely fantastic set of staff.
“We get lots of new customers every week and we are getting really good feedback. People are travelling from other areas of Leeds to come and eat at the cafe after hearing about us through word of mouth recommendations.”
The Bearded sailor was named in the top ten of the UK’s new fish and chip shops in the 2017 National Fish and Chip Awards organised by Seafish, the body which supports sustainable fishing.
It made the made the shortlist for the best newcomer award.
Family-run business Robin Hood Fisheries on Leeds Road, Wakefield, was second in the 2017 Yorkshire Evening Post Chippy of the Year competition.
Gurminder Bains has run the shop with her husband Kulwant Singh-Bains for ten years. The couple’s 23-year-old son Gurdeep works part-time at the shop,
Mrs Bains, said: “We are really happy. We entered the competition for the first time last year and came in the top ten. It’s wonderful that we have come second this year.”
Mrs Bains added: “We concentrate on the quality of the food. We always get the best fish and the best quality potatoes and we always ask the customers for feedback to make sure they are happy with the product.
“The customers feel part of our success, which is great because we are a family business.”
Mother Hubbard’s, which opened on Harehills Road, Harehills, Leeds, in January 2016, came third in the YEP competition.
General manager Steve Keighley, said: “We are over the moon about getting the support of our customers”
Mr Keighley said the secret of the shop’s success is “consistency and quality” of the products and good customer service.
He said: “We make sure we buy top quality products and we have excellent staff training. It’s a warm and friendly environment with good staff and a good product.”