Five years ago when Nick Sheff took over a run-down chip shop in the small market town of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, it was a case of doing what was needed to smarten the place up, rebrand it as Sheff’s and get it back open as quickly as possible. But four years on, equipment started to breakdown and the decor was once again becoming tired, so in August last year it was decided to shut the shop for two weeks and do a complete refurbishment.
Rather than look for different tradesmen to carry out the work, Nick approached shopfitting specialist Barland. Nick comments: “We knew we wanted a wall range and a long counter because as space dictates that’s all we could do here. Barland were great, they came back with half a dozen designs and we approved that. They then came back with another half a dozen ideas for the decor and we went for the one we liked best. From there it took a bit of tweaking but between us we came out with a design we were really happy with.”
Nick adds: “Nothing was a problem for Barlands - and there were a lot of problems in this shop! When you get to the bare bones of a building you never know what you’re going to come across, but they just said: “Okay, we can do that,” and they just got on with it.”
Combining white floor and wall tiles, accents of grey and wood effect tiles on the counter alongside downlighters and spotlights, the result is a bright, modern interior which is flooded with light. “It’s great,” exclaims Nick. “The whole shop looks immaculate. I’m so happy with the way it has turned out, I really am. We put a lot of lighting inside and outside because at night, being in a residential neighbourhood, the street lights can be quite dim. It’s like a beacon on the high street now.”
With the refurb extending back of house in to the kitchen, Nick also has a fresh resin floor, plastic cladding on the walls as well as new equipment and work surfaces. He comments: “The main feature was the shop but we had the kitchen done at the same time and it’s made such a difference. The walls just blend into the floor and the ceiling so there are no corners or hidden dirt traps anymore. It’s so easy to keep clean, it’s just anti-bac over it and the job is done.”
When the shop reopened the new layout was immediately put through its paces as trade increased significantly. Nick adds: “Before the refurb, we had a counter range so the space we had was tiny and we could only fit two people serving. Now we have a five meter long counter, two POS tills and we can fit four people serving with ease. It just works and because it’s more hands-on now, everything goes out that bit quicker and a bit better.”
Barland Shopfitters 0800 043 5523 www.barlandshopfitters.co.uk