Our Story So Far
My name is David Nicolaou, and I am a second generation fish fryer. My father Theo, had his first shop in Sheffield in 1979 so I grew up around the industry. That shop was called the Friery and is written into Sheffield Fish and Chip lore. I had a brief career in Software Engineering but like so many people who grew up around this industry, we end up returning to it at some point.
I came to Auckley in the Christmas of 2003 with the intention of staying for 18 months to get the shop back on its feet, it's previous occupier had let things slip somewhat! I have been here ever since.I fell in love with the area, made some great friends and loved serving the customers who came in and out on a daily basis. No point in leaving when you have found a big slice of happy.
We made the decision in 2006 to focus solely on delivering great fish and chips without any distraction from kebabs and the like. That was a real turning point for us and our business started to grow and go from strength to strength. Things were steady for a few years, the old wife went and a new one came, kids shortly followed and life was good.
In 2017 we notice our faithful old range was starting to show its years. The poor thing was literally running out of steam. It was time for a new one. We chose to partner with Florigo and it has been a very good decision (second only to hiring the lovely Kerry in 2004). While we were putting a new range in we thought the shop should have a fresh new look to go with it. A few walls out and bit of tiling and paint and we were back up and running in January 2018 with a very chic and pretty looking shop which we are incredibly proud of. Our new range is so fast we can cook all our fish to order and chips are twice cooked in separate baskets in small quantities so your chips are always fresh, crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.
2018 also saw us become members of the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), the trade body of the industry and we proudly put their logo on everything we do. It was this year we also decided to stick our heads above parapet and started entering some national competitions. In 2020 we managed to join a very elite family of shops as we got into the Fry Magazine Top 50 Takeways in the UK. That is an outstanding achievement.
We genuinely put quality at the heart of everything we do, from the sourcing of our MSC certified Cod and Haddock wrapped in a batter that is free of additives, the natural seasonings we use in our peas to growing our own herbs for the Tartare Sauce. Marco Pierre White once said ‘Perfection is a lot of little things done right’. We openly admit we are obsessed with what we do but are at the right side of OCD.
We genuinely love what we do and we hope that comes through in the quality and service of our food.
In 2019 we achieved the prestigious Q Award. This is all about finding those shops throughout the UK that give their customers the BEST QUALITY fish and chips, assessing them against a quality benchmark and rewarding successful applicants who pass the inspection and the taste test, with the 'BIG Q' Quality Award sign.
Organised by the NFFF it asses the following:
Premises - layout, condition and cleanliness
Machinery, equipment and utensils - condition and cleanliness
Working practices - intake, preparation, storage, product handling and temperature control
Hygiene standards - staff, premises and equipment
Management controls - health and safety, pest controls, temperature monitoring, cleaning schedules, staff training and allergen matrix
Final product - level of customer service, quality and taste of finished cooked product
It was a rather enjoyable ordeal and we passed with flying colours and we get to use the Q logo on everything we do. It lasts 2 years so standards must be maintained to get it renewed in 2021.
In late 2019 we also achieved our certification for MSC Certified Sustainable Seafood. It underlines our commitment to wherever possible serve Seafood that is responsibly sourced and sustainable.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation. that recognises and rewards efforts to protect oceans and safeguard seafood supplies for the future.
We proudly display the blue Ecolabel on all our Certified Sustainable seafood ensuring future generations can enjoy food found in our seas.
FRY MAGAZINE 50 BEST
We have been chasing this award for a few years now. Its all based on a mystery shopper experience. We have no idea when they will turn up and they have a large checklist to work through from customer service, quality of premises and of course the quality of the food. We have one chance to get it right and in March 2020 we found out we had made the grade.
To put it into perspective we had to get over 96% on our check report to make the top 50. Previous years we have been 1 or 2 % off making the grade. Its a testament to the hard work and dedication that our crew have put into our shop and we are incredibly proud of them all. It is entirely a team effort at Auckley Friery.