Author Archives: George

Fish and Chips and Bread and Butter….

It was great to read about a fabulous baker in the local paper recently – and see him give us a mention for encouraging him!

Herald article about Mike Hall with a mention of Shap Chippy

Herald article about Mike Hall with a mention of Shap Chippy

Some of you may know that Jo and I have a fondness for food… running The Old Smokehouse back at the start of the century(!) led us into the world of Farmers’ Markets, Food Festivals, delicatessens…. and occasionally over-eating!

About 18 months ago I bought an artisan loaf of bread at a Shap fund-raiser and it was fantastic! It caught my eye because it was “smoked” but the texture and  crust were just amazing and I got in touch with the maker – Mike Hall.

The rest, as they say is history! He and his wife are now the Ivy Cottage Bakery; he has recently appeared on BBC 2 in Tom Kerridge’s Top of the Shop, won gold for his beetroot and thyme bread at the World Bread Awards, achieved significant media coverage in the local newspaper and has consistently sold out at local events.

His bread is fantastic – available from Brough Farmers Market – my favourite is the unlikely, and yet somehow perfect, honey and lavender.

I am delighted to report that Mike and Marcella have become regulars at Shap Chippy and we are regular customers of theirs!

Trying to cut down on plastic…

Jo Hampson and Dal Dawkins showing old plastic and replacement card

Jo Hampson and Dal Dawkins showing old plastic and replacement card

Like many others, we do our best to be environmentally sound, although it’s not always easy in the world of take-away food.

We have had some coverage in the media about our efforts (our press release) and we have also had an enquiry from one of our local schools! Pupils at Crosby Ravensworth C of E School sent letters to companies big and small, asking what they were doing about plastics… half the companies replied, including Shap Chippy. Apparently my letter got 10 out of 10! Finally aged fifty-something, 10/10… yay!

This is what I wrote back to Sam…

Thank you very much for your letter about plastic at Shap Chippy which was delivered to us on the 9th February. I am very pleased that you are taking an interest in these important subjects. We are also worried about plastic rubbish.

Sometimes problems come with progress but I do not think we can stop progress…

Fish and chips used to be wrapped in newspaper which saved money and recycled paper – progress! But the problem was that newspaper had poisonous ink on and germs from lots of hands, so now we have to use new, clean paper.

Fish and chips are best hot, and the invention of polystyrene meant they stayed hot longer! This was progress! The problem was that polystyrene is bad for the environment. Shap Chippy now uses “bio-boxes”. These are made from plant waste – this is progress! The problem is they have to travel from China. The polystyrene boxes used less fuel to get to Shap as they are made in Preston. Another problem is that the bio boxes cost three times as much and not every one wants to pay extra.

The invention of plastic bags was progress! They were invented as a cheap and convenient way to solve the problem of carrying a lot of shopping. But they are now part of the big problem: rubbish everywhere.

The Government tried to stop people using plastic bags by making big companies charge for them. Shap Chippy is a small company so we did not have to charge for them. We decided to charge for our bags to try and stop people using them and it has worked! Lots of people now bring their own bags for fish and chips which is great! We charge for the bags we do sell and give the money to the charity shop next door. We hope to get paper alternatives soon but we can’t get big enough bags with handles and they are all very expensive. We hope to offer a choice soon, which will mean even fewer plastic bags are used.

We have free wooden forks for our food. We charge for plastic forks so most people use the free wooden ones, but some people want something bigger. The money we charge for plastic forks we give to help keep Shap Swimming Pool open! Biodegradable forks are now becoming available but they cost four times more than the plastic ones. We hope to sell them soon.

I hope that this helps you realise we want to reduce plastic. Another reason we want to stop people using plastic bags is because our boxes need air to keep the fish and chips crispy. The plastic bags seals the boxes and can make the food soggy!

I wonder whether you saw what I had put on Facebook on the 1st February?!

“Shap Chippy
Published by Georgina Perkins · 1 February ·
Like a lot of people we are looking at ways to reduce our use of plastic… We got rid of polystyrene boxes last year in favour of our bio-boxes (NB they go in your garden waste!) and we are hoping to get cardboard pots for side orders of curry, gravy and peas… in the meantime if you would prefer to have your side in the bio-box with your meal and not have a pot, please ask! We are researching lots of options… Every little helps!”

We have progressed since then!

Shap Chippy Facebook about plastic reduction

Shap Chippy Facebook about plastic reduction

NFFF Quality Award success for the third time!

Determined to keep our standards up we once again submitted ourselves to the rigours of an inspection by the National Federation of Fish Friers.

The inspect EVERYTHING! We panic, then realise we are by and large OK, check that the plasters in our first aid kit are not out of date and the bulb has been changed in the purple fly-killer and away we go… Here’s the press release the NFFF put out, and the report that appeared in the good old Cumbria Life Magazine!

A big thank you to our staff and to our customers for always keeping us on our toes…

Shap Chippy maintained is place with the fish frying elite from across the UK, by maintaining the prestigious NFFF Fish and Chip Quality Award.

The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), the trade body that represents the nation’s fish and chip shops, runs the scheme as a way of raising standards within the fish and chip trade and enhancing the profile of the industry.

Shap Chippy owners Georgina Perkins and Jo Hampson said “We are very pleased to receive this prestigious award. To be recognized as one of the top fish and chip shops by the NFFF is indeed an honour and a credit to our hardworking staff who I would like to offer my sincere thanks for their continued hard work and efforts to maintain our excellent reputation. The transformation within the three years since we first opened has been amazing.

The award doesn’t just represent the fish and chips we produce, but also the hard work and high quality produce our local suppliers provide us to work with.”

The scheme is a way of rewarding and promoting shops that provide good quality products and high standards of hygiene, as well as friers who show a high level of competence.

To qualify, each shop has to go through an inspection by an NFFF Approved Assessor who assesses the shop’s presentation, hygiene and cleanliness, staff training, equipment, frying and sales skills and most importantly the quality of the cooked product.

NFFF President Andrew Crook explained: “The NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award assessment is extremely comprehensive. Food safety is a key area that we examine together with other key aspects of the business including the preparation and cooking equipment, to the management of paperwork and the traceability of fish.
“Shap Chippy clearly takes pride in where it sources its fish and potatoes from,” said Andrew. “Achieving the NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award provides reassurance to customers that they are being served cooked food using high-quality ingredients.”
This award sets the new benchmark for quality within the industry.  It will signal to the consumer that they can buy with confidence where the award is displayed, and it will encourage more outlets to raise their standards.

Each Fish and Chip Quality Award is valid for two years and retention is dependent on standards being maintained as validated by NFFF officials and appointed assessors.


Seafood Week 2017


Seafood lovers in Shap will be joining the rest of the UK to celebrate

Seafood Week from 6-13 October.

Jo Hampson from Shap Chippy, also known as “Smoky Jo” will be marking the occasion by making home-smoked haddock, battered and fried available all week. “Our smoked haddock is very popular, we usually only smoke once a week so available as a special on Thursdays but next week we will be smoking every day if we need to!”

Shap Chippy has been part of the local seafood scene since 2013. In addition as battered cod they poach fish as a gluten-free option as well as frying their home-made fishcakes and wholetail scampi.

Jo said: “There is a great range and variety of seafood in the UK and we want to

celebrate that by shining a light on the industry and its fantastic produce. Obviously I want to encourage people to eat fish and chips but also to enjoy all sorts of seafood – the tastes are amazing and nutritional value excellent – from cod to cockles, pollack to prawns, nothing can beat a dish of fish or shellfish!”

Seafood Week is about giving seafood the recognition it deserves and thanking the

people who produce it, from the fishermen who haul their fresh catch in all weathers to

the chefs who serve it to our table.

The event already has the backing of key players in the industry, including Seafish, the

industry body that works to secure a profitable, sustainable and socially responsible

future for the UK seafood industry.

Heather Middleton, Marketing Manager at Seafish, said: “We want to bring the whole of

the UK together to celebrate and showcase all the best that seafood has to offer.

We’ve been eating it for generations. It is part of our tradition and our national identity,

and it truly deserves a regular place on all our dining tables.

To help build support of Seafood Week, we are urging people to start tweeting with the

hashtag #seafoodweek.”

Shap Chippy’s Georgina Perkins urges those interested to visit the website to find out more “There are loads of recipe suggestions and activities – my favourite is the traditional chip shop pun day!”

Forks, Bags, Tips, Charity – and Thank You!

We recently put a press release out about our charitable stuff… not because we want to boast but because we know we have customers who regularly donate 5p for one of our luxury plastic forks, or for a carrier bag to take their food home!  It just might be that some folk doubt it… surely not!

Anyway –  the story is below…   But before that I should mention that as well as supporting charities on our Shap doorstep we also support the fishermen without whom fish and chips would be, well, just chips!

For the past two years our staff have donated all tips received on National Fish and Chip Day to the Fishermen’s Mission and we have matched the donations (you didn’t need to be quite so generous!) Whilst on the subject of tips they were in the news last year – here at Shap Chippy all tips are added together and at the end of each month divided up between ALL the employees (not owners!) based on how many hours they each work.

So to forks….

The Second Chance charity shop is at the heart of Shap Community Enterprise, a charity raising funds for community groups. By the end of 2016 nearly £30,000 had been paid out.  When the shop opened next door to Shap Chippy a couple of years ago the owners of the Chippy were delighted to be able to help out with the signage. Co-owner of the Chippy Georgina Perkins said “Since then the Second Chance shop has been such a success, raising funds for so many local good causes – Shap School, the bus service, scouts, cubs and beavers, the cricket and bowling clubs – to name but a few!  We have customers who come to Shap for a day out – a morning in the shop browsing the amazing selection of goods for sale then joining us for lunch – often showing off their purchases!  We saw an opportunity to reduce the use of plastic carriers and to continually support our village by charging for bags.”  This week volunteers in the charity shop accepted £100 from the supply of carriers bags at Shap Chippy.
The Chippy also supports the local swimming pool.  For several years, as well as providing free wooden chip forks, blue plastic “luxury” forks have been available for 5p, and all the money taken for them is given to Shap Open Air Swimming Pool.  “We are very proud of our swimming pool in Shap and it’s great to know we are doing something to help keep local people active” said Georgina.  “The latest donation of £100 brings the total given to £350 – that’s a lot of luxury forks!”
So, a big THANK YOU to all users of our blue forks and carrier bags, and to those who gave so generously on National Fish and Chip Day.


What a year 2016 was for Shap Chippy and our Frying Squad!

We had “a bit of a do” at Christmas with our Frying Squad, we talked about what a year 2016 had been… we thought we should share some of the amazing achievements of our team, not just as Shap Chippy – although we’ll start there!

Our greatest team achievement has to be being selected in the Top 50 Fish and Chip shops in the UK. We were thrilled and so pleased that all our hard work and good food was recognised. We also received a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor for the second year in a row – yay!

But 2016 was also a year of fantastic achievements for everyone – individually amazing things have been done…….

(Mr) Dal decided that after his 2015 trip to Australia he could do with losing a few pounds in weight so he took himself off to Slimmers World where he lost over 3 stone and was awarded “Man of the Year!” Well done Dal! At a recent trade fair we had to introduce him all over again as no-one recognised the slimmed down version.

Elizabeth, Atlanta and Molly got fantastic results in the GCSEs and are now studying for A levels – brilliant!

Rhianon raised enough money for her school trip-of-a-lifetime to Tanzania.

Stacey enjoyed playing football for Penrith and represented Cumbria, she also played in a tournament at the home of Wigan Athletic- how fantastic is that!?!

Michaela and her team mates won the National Cheer leading Championships in Manchester in the spring – absolutely fabulous!

Aaron and Dawn have had a brilliant year which started with them getting married in March. In November Dawn was selected to play in the National Ladies Pool

Championships where she won 6 of her games. Aaron was responsible for designing and building our new lovely bathroom at the Chippy.  Also, and of huge importance, was the fact that they both gave up smoking in December which is a fantastic achievement. What an amazing year!

Petra put her culinary skills to work for the Chippy by helping us celebrate Valentines day and Mothers day by making meringue ‘kisses’ and cakes. She also came up with the recipe for our own home made Tartare Sauce which is proving so popular with our customers and is just the best secret recipe!

Sylwia joined the Shap Frying Squad this year and has proved to be a huge asset – not least due to her superb baking abilities… This year she made a wonderful dessert for Jo’s 60th birthday; then she baked a sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate orange cheesecake for our Christmas drinks on 23rd December – both went down a storm. Next stop the Great British Bake-Off..?

Jo’s achievement was reaching her 60th birthday – celebrated with fun events throughout the year culminating in a house party with her family in Scotland in November.

George was accepted to play in the Westmorland Orchestra and played in her first concert with them in December. Well done George – brilliant!

So all in all 2016 was a great year for Shap Chippy and the whole Frying Squad – such talented people – bravo and thank you, everyone… Who knows what this year will bring… new members of the Frying Squad joining us to work hard and play hard, perhaps!

In the Top 50, Perfect Timing and environmentally friendly Bio Boxes

Gary Pagin, perfectly timed fish eater!

Gary Pagin, perfectly timed fish eater!

Cumberland News Story 14 June 2016

Cumberland News Story 14 June 2016

You may have seen us in the local press recently – we came in the top 50 British fish and chip takeaways, based on a mystery shop.  We entered last year but didn’t quite make it – one of the things we didn’t score for was name badges.  We try to be democratic and most of our staff did not want to wear name badges.  When we put ourselves forward this year for assessment it was largely for the benefit of a detailed mystery shopper report.  Getting in the Top 50 was truly a real surprise – we scored 96% even without name badges!

As a result of this we got some local media coverage. The Cumberland News sent a reporter and photographer and they did a lovely piece, spoke to some regular customers etc and then Gary Pagin arrived, saying that he’d been recommended Shap Chippy when he was in Penrith so had WALKED the eleven miles!

He seemed to enjoy his meal and as you can see we have changed from the polystyrene boxes to bioboxes.  These are made of a waste product from sugar cane and are biodegradable.

YES –  Please put your empty fish and chip boxes from Shap Chippy in your garden waste!


Shap Chippy, Radio and Theatre!

The Highlights Touring Theatre scheme brings amazing professional productions to far flung places… like Shap! Our local impresario, Janet Wood managed to secure one of the bestselling shows the Box of Tricks Theatre company have ever put on for our village.  We agreed we could produce 50 meals for 7 pm on a Sunday evening – but we had to increase it to 71 due to popular demand – I wish I had been able to stay and enjoy it – it looked  terrific and starred two faces recognisable from TV – Ben Ryan Davies (Waterloo Road) and Jessica Forrest (Coronation Street and Hollyoaks) as well as Julie Edwards and Russell Richardson.

Our other recent adventure was when we took part in a local “Chip Bun Challenge” hosted by Yakkers – Simon Yaxley – of Lakeland Radio.

We did ourselves proud with a Shap Chippy special – A chip butty with one of our own smoked halloumi fritters smothered in curry source…

Shap Chippy Special Chip Butty

Shap Chippy Special Chip Butty

Yakkers had to pass Jo the microphone!

Yakkers had to pass Jo the microphone!





Art at Shap Chippy

Shap Chippy by Kayleigh Richardson

Shap Chippy by Kayleigh Richardson

Wall hanging made in Sri Lanka by a friend!

Wall hanging made in Sri Lanka by a friend!

The Rainbow Fish made for us by Catbells Class

The Rainbow Fish made for us by Catbells Class

Veldt Sky, painting by Rona Newsom

Veldt Sky, painting by Rona Newsom

I have been meaning to add something about our art to the site for ages… to answer the questions we get!

As reported in Cumbria Crack we have recently given a wall of our restaurant over to art by Kayleigh Richardson.  She has created a lovely picture of Shap Chippy for us and it is surrounded by her own work – all of which is for sale.

Prior to this we had the glorious Rainbow Fish!  This was created for us by Catbells class from Shap School after they visited us earlier in the year.  As you can see it is beautiful!  We are keeping it in a safe place.

Rona Newsom’s art held pride of place before that with her vibrant recreation of a Veldt Sky – from her South African childhood.

We also had an amazing wall hanging sent all the way from Sri Lanka – a friend’s daughter made it just from seeing us on the internet!

We also have prints by Libby Edmondson – an artist based in Levens, whose colourful pictures of the fells have been on the walls since we opened.

Other permanent features are some incredible felt pictures by the amazingly talented Maulds Meaburn-based Debra Esterhuizen.




Our second birthday… fish, chips, awards and books…

What an amazing couple of years!

Our biggest challenge at the moment is getting staff to meet demand. Winning “Best Newcomer” at the UK Fish and Chip Awards has brought in lots of fish and chip tourists (two years ago we didn’t know there were fish and chip tourists!) as of course has word of mouth – thank you.

We opened on World Book Night 2013 but it was all too much and we didn’t give our 2013 books away until 2014. This year we have 15 copies each of the following books to give away – they are for reading and passing on and the intention is that people who don’t usually read books are tempted…

Two very different books are available for World Book Night 2015 at the Chippy this afternoon – pop in, whish us happy birthday and pick up a book!

Escape From camp 14Twenty-seven years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labor camp is a ‘complete control district,’ a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life.

No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped. No one except Shin. This is his story.

“Reading the astonishing story of Shin’s escape from Camp 14, one of the enormous political prisons whose existence is denied by the North Korean government, is like sitting, hooked as you watch a riveting and horrifying documentary. New readers will be taken to the brutal heart of that most corrupt and secretive state in this non-fiction thriller.”


Street Cat BobWhen James Bowen found an injured, street cat in the hallway of his sheltered housing, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James had been living on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.

Yet James couldn’t resist the clever tom cat, whom he quickly named Bob. Soon the two were best friends, and their funny and sometimes dangerous adventures would change both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.

“The story of the clever tom cat Bob, homeless James and the friendship that blossomed between the two is heartwarming, uplifting and full of hope. This phenomenally popular tale has been adapted to be part of the brilliant Quick Reads series and we hope it’ll be loved in prisons and homeless shelters.”


It is now time to take off “under new management” from the front of the web site… though it still feels new and exciting – just not quite as scary!