A fish and chip shop owner has paid tribute to his “amazing staff” after they stepped in and kept his two takeaways running for 14 months in his absence.
Nick Lomvardos, owner of Bishopston Fish Bar and Oceans Catch in Bristol, was in Greece visiting his partner Penny in 2020 when she was diagnosed with cancer. With the world going into lockdown shortly after and Penny’s cancer returning despite her treatment initially being a success, what was an eight-week stint turned into 14 months.
The 10 staff that work across the two shops never questioned taking the reins to which Nick has been ever grateful, enabling him to stay on in Greece and care for his partner.
“The staff told me to stay, to look after Penny and that the shops would be fine.
“They did everything, the deliveries, the ordering, even the paperwork so all I had to do was sit there with the laptop, transferring money to pay the suppliers and wages.
“They kept both shops going, even during the height of Covid, and the standards never dropped once. I just want to say how brilliant my staff are. They really came together when things got tough for me.
“Without them doing what they did I would had to have closed both shops. It was a question of do I put my partner first or my business first and they made that decision very easy for me.”
Nick’s team ranges from 18 to 50 years of age with some having worked for him for over 10 years. He believes the secret to a happy workforce is not shouting, showing how something should be done first, and treating staff as you would like to be treated yourself.
“I’ve always treated my staff with respect because I think if you look after your staff, your staff will look after you and they proved that! I can’t thank them enough," he says.
Penny was finally given the all clear in August last year and the couple returned to Bristol together in September.