Shap school makes a newsworthy visit to the Chippy

Last week we were visited by some enthusiastic youngsters who have been studying fish at the nearby Primary School. (Text from the report in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald is below, or click on the picture to see it full size.)

Shap school visit the chippy

Shap school visit the chippy

… and they created the most wonderful art when they were back at school – a plate of fish and chips.  Some included peas, some ketchup, some cutlery; some used wool balls, some newspaper some pasta (I think!) but all used amazing imagination and in some cases a great deal of glitter!

The art of plating up! Amazing stuff from Shap schoolchildren at key stage 1.

The art of plating up! Amazing stuff from Shap schoolchildren at key stage 1.

Tasty way to learn about fish
Shap Chippy welcomed children from the village school this week.  Children in years one and two at Shap Endowed Church of England Primary School have been learning all about fish this term and so they walked the few hundred yards up Main Street to learn a bit more from Jo Hampson and Gwyn Taylor at their local fish and chip restaurant.
The children came in two groups and all were able to see at first hand how the fish is prepared and how the potatoes are peeled and chipped.  They were then shown the frying range which contains the fat in separate pans to fry the fish and chips.  Before they left all the visitors including staff were treated to a small portion of fish and chips.
Jo and duty manager Gwyn have both been teachers previously and they enjoyed the opportunity to show the village youngsters how a fish and chips supper is prepared.  Jo said “the chldren were really interested, they loved seeing a potato go in one end of a machine and chips pop out the other end! They told me all about puffer fish and tuna that they had been studying, but I think they were pleased it was haddock that we gave them!”  Gwyn added “they were impressed that we know what fishing boat the fish we serve are caught by and where the potatoes we use come from.  We have asked them to draw us a picture of fish and chips on a plate, so we are looking forward to seeing their art!”
Shap Chippy closed down last September but was re-opened in April by Jo Hampson and Georgina Perkins.




Banana Fritters…

Too good not to try! Shap Chippy Banana Fritters, crisp and golden served with golden syrup and ice cream.  Also available with chocolate sauce…

Shap Chippy Banana Fritters

Shap Chippy Banana Fritters

Hopkins to the rescue!


A few broken bits and the fixer from Hopkins

A few broken bits and the fixer from Hopkins

As good as his word, Andy McColl who sold us our Hopkins frying range came over from Leeds on Saturday (with small daughter in tow!) bearing various digital parts and a couple of screwdrivers.  And hope in his heart! After we fed Andy and his daughter he set to, replacing buttons, display and finally the circuit board.

Once again we are, as we they say, cooking on gas!

Waiting time back to normal for the busy Saturday session with lots of happy diners enjoying our new treat – banana fritters with ice cream and syrup or chocolate sauce.  I regret to say I have not had a chance to try them yet…


Oh no…!

Just as we were getting confident that we can manage chip shop rush hour, one of our pans broke!

Sorry to those who had to wait longer than usual last night – we lost a third of our frying capacity at about 5.30 pm… which on a Friday night is really bad news.  Also disappointing in that the kit cost a lot more than a better car than I am ever likely to drive, and it is only a few months old!

Engineers apparently only come out Monday to Friday but the salesman from Hopkins – who was good enough to pick up the phone from me on a Friday evening (when he must have known I wouldn’t have just been phoning for a chat!) – is going to come by today with a new part…  fingers crossed.

Pie is now on the menu as well as some rather nice chicken fillet!

Top marks from the Environmental Health Officer!


5 stars from the council in the national food hygiene "scores on the doors" scheme

5 stars from the council in the national food hygiene “scores on the doors” scheme

Getting smoky…

Time for some picture updates! I’m not sure how I found time to blog so much when we first opened… maybe I was just buzzing!

A Smoky Jo - our very own smoked sausage makes its debut

A Smoky Jo – our very own smoked sausage makes its debut

All welcome at Shap Chippy!

All welcome at Shap Chippy – even rabbits


Jo and Becca study my food safety policy book

Jo and Becca study my food safety policy book. What’s so funny?

Age Concern were the first group to bring a party for lunch

Age Concern were the first group to bring a party for lunch

First order of a fish butty!

First order of a fish butty!


I am still buzzing with enthusiasm, of course, but less buzzy and more busy with the paperwork.  The environmental health officer visited last week and liked what she saw but she now has our food safety policy and assorted paperwork to go through before we get our food safety “score on the door”.  Fingers crossed!

We have also added smoked halloumi cheese fritters to our menu and (for eat-in only) banana fritters with syrup and ice cream…


Settling in…

Google has chosen this page as a landing page for opening times… which are: Tuesday – Saturday: Noon – 1.30 pm and 4.30 – 8.00 pm   Sunday: 4.30 – 8.00 pm. They are also on the front page of our website!

I think we are getting there; more staff are becoming more expert in more areas so in due course we will have more options for those really busy times when the organised chaos can fleetingly seem disorganised…

Our opening hours are now settled – at least for the summer. (By which I mean until mid-September, not necessarily anything to do with the weather.) They are on the front page of the website and the shop window – basically lunctimes and evenings Tuesday – Saturday and evening Sunday.  (We will also open on bank holiday Monday evenings then close on the following Tuesday.)

Thank you for our cards!

Thank you for our cards!

We have taken down our good luck/congratulations and thank you cards – thank you to so many of you for wishing us well.  And thank you to the coast to coast-ers who sent such a nice card after Jo dropped you off at the Shap Wells – why would you expect it to be five miles further on? So unfair!  The cards were on the top of the drinks fridge, which is now shiny clean.  We only have one staff member who can see up there, so Rosie – in future that’s your job, please! We are wondering what to put on the white wall – we were thinking about a cartoon-style map of the area, or of the coast to coast route – any suggestions? We will also put up boards with fish and chip facts – where the fish we use are caught (Marine Stewardship Council approved waters), the fact that potatoes went up by 25% a week after we opened… (yes really, though they seem to have gone back down a little now).

Amazing moon view driving home after frying

Amazing moon view driving home after frying


New menu items…

Slowly we are building up to a full chip shop menu… we have finally got our “pie-well” a metal tray that holds a bit of water in one of the hot top-boxes, to ensure pies, sausages etc don’t dry out.  Next week we should have pie on the menu.

We have also started doing chicken nuggets – battered, of course! – spam fritters and especially for vegetarians, halloumi cheese fritters.  This is something we thought of doing when we first started talking about what we can offer people who do not want fish or meat.  Gwynn is working on various recipes of her own when she gets a spare 15 minutes (we don’t give her much time off…)

Halloumi fritters and curry sauce…. has to be tried to be believed!


Pictures up…

Little by little we’re getting there! Two new prints on the wall.  We found them on the artists trail in Levens – they are so bright and colourful we thought they would add a warmth to the seating area.  They are by Libby Edmondson.

The Wall by Libby Edmondson

The Wall by Libby Edmondson

When Jo was out a few weeks ago wearing her “Wierd Fish” top and discussing the fish and chip shop… she was asked if “Wierd Fish” was the name of the new venture! There’s a thought…

Chip portions… and next week’s opening hours

… no, we’re not trying to put chip-eaters on diets but we have had a lack of consistency in portion sizes – sorry.  This should now be sorted.  It was all to do with how many chips we could get on a scoop.  This has now changed to making sure that regular chips is a goodly portion and large chips is too many for most!

This coming week we will be CLOSED on Tuesday after the bank holiday weekend, then open Monday – Saturday 12 noon – 1.30 pm and 5 pm – 8 pm; we will then close Sunday and Monday.