However, when I look back at the things we’ve done and achieved I am proud of where we’ve come and the opportunities we’ve grabbed with both hands. Starting with the morning after the awards with our visit to the ITV studios to film This Morning on the Southbank – this was an absolute dream come true.
From there, we’ve managed to achieve a lot. We’ve taken Simpsons on Wheels to Manchester to cook for National Fish and Chip Day, we’ve experimented with a crazy American guy on stage at the Cheltenham Science festival (he caused a deliberate chip pan fire!), we launched MSC’s Turn The Tide campaign by giving away 75 MSC cod and chips to celebrate the 75 certified fish and chip shops. We’ve written to The Times business clinic, featured in Waitrose’s magazine 3 times, Giles Coren reviewed us – which really helped the legitimacy of fish and chips as a proper restaurant worthy dish.
James has even visited Japan and cooked over 10,000 fish and chips for the locals who queued from 10am-7pm each day to eat our national dish! Who would have thought our humble chippy could take us half way across the world?!
Plus, when it came to being in a valuable part of our trade we’ve been able to represent ourselves with numerous talks, presentations, guest appearances and help train others in our vibrant industry – I just hope we can continue to do this in the future.
In terms of what the award has done for our business, staff morale is up, takings have settled at a good 50% addition on turnover compared to the previous year, and plenty of people keep offering to invest in us. But for now, one shop is plenty and is in equal measures a headache and a delight! However, we wouldn’t be anywhere else.
I want to take the opportunity to thank our staff who have worked incredibly hard, our customers who’ve been loyal and very patient, our friends in the industry, previous winners who have given us advice, our trade bodies who have supported us, Silverball PR, Eat Marketing and all our suppliers who’ve kept up with demand! Lastly to Seafish, without the awards none of this would be possible. Thank you for all the love and support!
To end this article, we’d both like to wish the finalists for 2017 the best of luck. We’ll be there to cheer you on, as well as enjoying the great food and wine! For once, it’ll be nice to relax and enjoy the awards.
If I’m honest, I’ve absolutely loved being representatives for the industry this year and I’ll be gutted to see the trophy move on, but on the other hand I’m excited for the future of Simpsons, wherever it takes us…