From crying (babies) to frying (chips)

From crying (babies) to frying (chips)

Cromars Fish and Chip Restaurant & Takeaway in St Andrews has really made a name for itself in just three years of operation, as well as showing a profit, again in what is a relatively short space of time in the competitive restaurant scene.

The former winner of ‘Best Fish and Chip Shop in Scotland’ in the National Fish and Chip Shop Awards, as well as several other customer and industry accolades, has a turnover of £950,000 and, at the height of the busy St Andrews tourist season, employs a team of thirty six staff.

The business is looking to grow, with another outlet being considered, along with a mobile van to target the lucrative weddings and events sector.

It also has a new business partner in Wendy Frame, who has recently joined the business to oversee marketing, customer care, staff development and sourcing. She is working closely with Trisha Cromar, wife of co owner Colin Cromar.

Whilst Colin puts his thirty two years of expertise into the food – not just delicious fish and chips, but mussels and scallops too, coley and hake burgers and delicious daily specials incorporating East Neuk seafood – the two women, who are friends, are looking at ways to improve Cromars even more.

“I am delighted to officially be part of the Cromars team now,” said Wendy. “We are all passionate about the business, and it has achieved such a lot in just over three years of operation, twice winning the Scottish Fish and Chip Shop of the Year award at the National Fish and Chip Awards, as well as claiming a Top 10 UK place.

“Although I was also busy running a nursery business in Crieff, I dipped in and out of Cromars. I have been behind the counter many times to serve customers and I attended the National Fish and Chip Shop Awards in London with the team, which was a fantastic experience. I have a great deal to give this business in terms of ideas, business knowledge and enthusiasm.”

“As two busy mothers and businesswomen together, Trisha and I understand where we want this business to go,” said Wendy.

Hailing originally from Peterhead, Wendy could be said to have great fish and chips in her DNA. Many of her relatives and family friends are still involved in the fishing industry and has been working with her cousin Iain Stephen of Lunar Fisheries on fish supply.

“I regularly visit the fish market in Peterhead,” she said. “I wanted to see exactly where the fish we use at Cromars comes from. We only use MSC certified haddock which is sustainable.

“It was fascinating, I even managed to find one of the trawlers that fishes the MSC haddock and met the skipper. A 4am meeting was indeed an early start. I feel that Cromars is the business for me though!”

In the past few months, Wendy has been busy organising fundraising drives for the Fisherman’s Mission and local St Andrews branch of the RNLI. By choosing special dishes such as fritto misto and deep fried baby squid with a light batter – great with a fresh crisp salad, rock salt and slice of lemon, which are offered to customers, a donation was given towards the charities for each dish sold.

“There’s been a lot going on. We’ve supported the BID St Andrews Fashion Show and Savour St Andrews, and we sponsored the student doctors at the Uni in a sports contest. We also embrace our social media with gusto at Cromars so customers can keep up with all our news on Facebook and Twitter. We also hope to hold an event for Food from Fife later in the year, as they are a brilliant organisation in which to be a member.”

Added Trisha Cromar: “Cromars is always improving, and it’s great to have Wendy committing to help us grow and develop even more. We’ve made a number of improvements to the business over the past six months, including installing a brand new kitchen floor, buying new fridges and an extension to the KFE frying range to help with the higher demand following the success of last year.

“It’s a constant re-investment for us in this business, looking at ways of improving our service and food quality.”

Published: 15 March 2017

Article by Suzy Jackson
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