Multi-award winning fish and chip shop The Crispy Cod in Tonyrefail shut its doors at the weekend, citing a drop in footfall in the local area as one of the main reasons for its closure.
The takeaway in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, served its last customers on Saturday after struggling for the last three years to turn a profit.
In an emotional video posted on Facebook over the weekend, owner Mathew Williams said the closure of two banks and a post office in the area has affected footfall, while the opening of his second shop further up the Rhonnda Valley in Gelli two years ago has also impacted trade.
Mathew commented: “It’s been a very emotional week this week but it’s something that’s gone on for the last three years. Since opening Gelli, Tonyrefail hasn’t been making any money at all and it’s something I can’t keep on pushing into and I can’t keep plugging my own money into.
“The difficulty over the last three years is we’ve opened in Gelli and a lot of customers have come here rather than Tonyrefail as they live in the middle. Also, two banks closing and the post office closing has probably made about 30% difference in the business.”
Mathew has been at the helm of the business for 12 years and says it’s been a difficult decision to shut the doors, adding: “I want to thank each and every one from the bottom of my heart that’s made the Crispy Cod a success. It’s been an amazing journey.”
The Crispy Cod is one of the most recognised fish and chips shops in Wales and was crowned the country’s best at this year’s National Fish & Chip Awards. It has been up for sale since May with a price tag of £475,000. However, with restrictions on where Mathew can trade being a condition of any sale, finalising a deal has proved difficult. Instead, the takeaway will go up for auction in the forthcoming weeks.
Mathew adds: “When something’s not making money there’s only so long you can keep pumping money back into.
“I’m proud of all we’ve achieved in the last three years.”
Mathew will now focus his efforts on his Gelli restaurant and takeaway, where trade is growing, by opening seven days a week instead of six. He adds: “Gelli is getting busier and busier every day, everything about it is really positive.”