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Eric’s collaborates with French’s to take Norfolk chippy forward

Eric's Fish & Chips in Thornham, North Norfolk, has taken over the day-to-day running of another of the county’s well-established fish and chip shops, French’s in Wells-Next-The-Sea.

Eric Snaith, who opened Eric’s just three years ago, was called in after French’s owner, Marcus French, decided to take a step back from the business that he has been running for the past 34 years and which his family have owned for over 90 years. Eric also owns the three AA rosette fine dining restaurant and hotel Titchwell Manor in Thornham.

Marcus comments: “I wanted to take a little step back and take some well-earned rest as I’ve been running the business for 34 years now. I’ve employed Eric and his team as management support so, although I’m still in charge, they deal with all the day-to-day things like staffing.”

Confident that he has a good team to take the business forward, Marcus adds: “Eric’s a top class chef and he’s very passionate about what he does. I think he has a younger view point on things than me and newer ideas, whereas I’m quite stayed in my ideas.”

Changes to the business have already taken place under Eric’s lead, including a full refurbishment of the seaside premises, which has brought the chippy more in line with Eric’s eatery just 20 miles away.

With a black and white checkerboard floor, brightly painted wooden furniture and whitewashed brick walls, Marcus comments: “It’s probably not what I would have chosen but it’s different and a lot of people have told me it’s very good.

“It’s actually a retro feel. We used to have two doors, one in and one out, and we’ve gone back to that. We used to have seating and stalls down the sides, we’ve gone back to that. Eric wants to do a white and blue scheme, which were the original colours we had before, and it’s all gone back to bricks on the outside, whereas I had stainless steel.

“We’ve even got rid of the digital menu screens and gone back to blackboards. It’s back to basics, I guess.”

There’s also several new items on the menu including mac and cheese bites and a vegetarian sausage.

Marcus adds: “Times have changed and we’re changing with it. It’s onwards and upwards and, although it’s not easy to let go, I’m getting used to it. I’m letting Eric do what he feels is right.”

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