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© 2019 by Serena Pybus. www.frymagazine.com

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30 Minutes With...

..Craig Butcher, owner, Two Gates Fisheries, Shafton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Who would win in a fight between Captain Birdseye and an anthropomorphic Malcolm the Cat?



Definitely Captain BirdsEye. He would simply chuck Malcolm one of his delicious cod fish fingers, job done! 


How did you get into the industry?

For many years I wanted a little fish and chip shop, no stress, nice and easy. How wrong was I?! It's very hard work but I love my little shop and the team I have now brought together. I acquired the shop from David Wood, who had a chain of shops in the Barnsley area going by the name of Woody's. I met David by chance at the bedside of a mutual friend who was in hospital. We got chatting and I said I'd love a little fish and chip shop and he gave me a short insight into the fish and chip business. Several months later, I noticed he had put all his shops up for sale. I bought his first shop, where it all began for him. It has a lot of history and it was purpose-built in 1935. 


If you could change jobs with anyone else for the day who would it be?

I would swap jobs with a member of my team. I've never had a motivational lovely, caring, funny, inspirational boss before and I always wondered what it would be like!


What’s your favourite film?

The Goonies for me, It’s a fantastic ‘80s film. A great decade that I will never forget. 


What was the first music single you bought?

Pump up the Jam by Technotronic. It was the start of the dance music era for me. I, thankfully, didn't progress to rave, but I still enjoy dance music to this day. 


Do you have a nickname?

Throughout school to the present day, I'm known as Butch, not flattering I know, however, my surname is Butcher.


What did you want to be as a child?

I actually never thought about a career as a child, I just enjoyed being a child and not having to worry about adult stuff! However, at 16 I started an apprenticeship at a local engineering company and did that for 21 years. 


If you could have anyone join your team who would it be?

Definitely Peter Kay. He could entertain our amazing customers and the team while they waited for their delicious fish to be fried.


What’s your favourite food?

Definitely chips! If you don't believe me ask my mum. That's all I wanted as I was growing up. 


What sports team do you support?

I'm a Sheffield United fan. I have three brothers, two are Wednesday fans and one United! 


If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them?

My dad who sadly passed away when I was 14. I would simply tell him I loved him! 


If you were Prime Minister for a day what’s the first thing you would do?

I would have a team and a significant budget to spend on saving our heritage. Our history is what made this country great, we need to make sure we don't lose any! I would make it part of the school curriculum, so every young person can be proud of our heritage. The new Land Rover Defender would most definitely have to be built in this country too! 


If you could go back in time what year would you choose?

Definitely my school years. My teachers were so right when they said: “You can do better." 


Do you have any hobbies?

I haven't had much time for hobbies lately, I guess fish and chips has become my hobby. I do enjoy watching and coaching football. 


What question would you like to ask our next “30 minutes with”? 

How do you think we could improve and promote our national dish further? 

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