A fish and chip shop in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, has been recognised for its hard work and innovation by winning a top local business award.
Westend Fish & Chips scooped the Food & Drink Award at the Hyndburn Business Awards after being nominated anonymously by customers. The chippy was up against several local businesses including a dairy and two cake shops.
Owner Deryn Regan-Hitchen said judges praised the business for its resilience during Covid when it reopened after just four weeks with online and phone ordering, new card machines and a car for delivery. More recently, Deryn has invested in a complete shop refurbishment which has included a new 3-pan Mallinson’s frying range and the addition of an ice cream, milkshake and waffle parlour.
Deryn comments: “It means everything to me to be recognised as the best food and drink business in Hyndburn. But it’s not just me, the whole team works really hard, we’re always planning or working together.
“It’s hard at the moment because you can work a 12-hour shift, be really passionate about what you do and then get one negative comment from a customer about price and it can deflate you. So this award recognises the hard work that we all put in.”
Deryn took over the chippy four years ago when she and her mother left their jobs in social care to follow a passion of her grandfather’s. She comments: “Growing up, my grandad always took us to the best fish and chip shops. He would say, this is an award-winning chippy, this is where you want to go for the best fish and chips. When he passed away, my mum and I quit our jobs and bought a chippy!
“We didn’t have the foggiest what we were doing but, because of my grandad and because of how he’d brought us up, it just felt right.”
Deryn underwent training at The NFFF headquarters in Leeds and now employs a team of eight part-time staff.
She has recently added homemade fishcakes to the menu and is looking to enhance this with a homemade tartare sauce. Deryn adds: “They are things that are unique to us and they make us stand out because we have a product that nobody else offers.”