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The Codfather scoops chippy prize
11:40am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
THE chips were down. But The Codfather in Hedge End has now been named the best chippy in the area.
But following a visit from a mystery shopper The Codfather won the prize for best independent chippy in Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire in the National Fish and Chip Awards 2014.
Father and son team, Shane and John Lee own both The Codfather and Best Fry.
The family purchased their first chippy, J Henry’s in Hedge End in 1988. After its success they went on to buy The Codfather in 1999 and Best Fry in 2011. John has been helping his father in the chippies since he was eight-years-old and swiftly moved up the ranks to become a partner in 2009. Sonny Lee, 19, also works as a manager across all of the shops.
But the family say they could not have done so well without the hard work of their staff and managers, Ashley Jones, Andy Digweed and Scott Turner. Shane, 48, from Horton Heath, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement. I’m very proud of my sons and all the staff. It’s nice to be recognised for the hard work everyone puts into it. We don’t cut any corners, we buy top quality products, it’s sheer determination on staff training and clean shops and I think that’s a winning combination.”
John, 30, from Hedge End, said: “I am absolutely over the moon. We were overwhelmed that we had two shops in the final three but when we found out that The Codfather had won the area it was the icing on the cake.
“It gives you a good boost as you know you’re doing something right and it gives customers confidence that when they come here they’re getting top quality food.”
The Lee family are now celebrating 25 years in business and plan to buy a fourth shop in the coming months. The two shops went head to head with Ashley’s, which was taken over by Lauren Morrison three years ago. Since then, Lauren has given the shop a total makeover, with new decor, new staff and a new menu of seasonal fish and locally sourced meat.
Shop manager, Alan Biddiscombe has worked at the chippy for seven years and has seen it continue to go from strength to strength. The 36-year-old from Lymington, said: “We’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s nice to get a bit of recognition. The improvement to the shop has been through the roof and we’re continually getting people coming back again and again.
“This is the first time we have entered this competition. Hopefully getting this far will have a positive effect on our business.”
The Codfather will now compete against Godfrey’s in Harpenden, Hertfordshire in the regional finals. If their winning streak continues they will then get the chance to take on nine of the best chippies in the country in the national finals in London in January.
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