Lancaster chippy Hodgson’s named best in the north west

Nigel Hodgson of Hodgson's Chippy with wife Linda. Photo by Paul Currie Photography.
Nigel Hodgson of Hodgson's Chippy with wife Linda. Photo by Paul Currie Photography.

Hodgson’s Chippy in Lancaster has been named as the top fish and chip shop in north west England by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.

Competing to be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, Hodgson’s Chippy will now ‘fry’ for glory against the nine other regional winners, one from each judging region in the UK, as they vie for the ultimate title – the ‘best fish and chip shop’ in the UK.

Covering the length and breadth of the country, the nine other finalists are:

* Fochabers Fish Bar in Fochabers, Moray (Scotland)

* Hennighan’s Top Shop in Machynlleth, Powys (Wales)

* The Dolphin Takeaway in Dungannon, County Tyrone (Northern Ireland)

* Miller’s Fish and Chips in Haxby, North Yorkshire (North East England)

* Oldswinford Fish & Chips in Dudley, Stourbridge (Midlands)

* Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln, Lincolnshire (Eastern England)

* Henley’s of Wivenhoe in Wivenhoe, Colchester (London & South East England)

* Godfrey’s Fish and Chips in Harpenden, Hertfordshire (Central & Southern England)

* Kingfisher Fish and Chips in Plympton, Plymouth (South & West England)

Nigel Hodgson, owner of Hodgson’s Chippy, said: “Our shop has been in our family for 19 years and has always been busy, so much so that we had to open a second shop to keep up with the demand.

“At Hodgson’s we focus strongly on sourcing the highest quality fish, and working closely with our suppliers we have forged strong relationships with the fishing vessels that we buy our fish from – fish that is frozen at source, shortly after capture guaranteeing consistent quality; after all, no fish and chip shop is a success without great tasting fish and chips.

“Being recognised at a national level means the absolute world to us and our staff. They don’t just see this as a job, they’re just as committed as I am and we’re like family.”

To get to this stage and secure a top spot, Hodgson’s Chippy has had to fry at the top of their game, facing appraisal by industry experts across a variety of criteria including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, staff training processes, and marketing and promotional activities.

They also received mystery shopping assessments to ascertain customer service levels and the quality of fish and chips, along with in-depth judging audits to appraise a wide range of criteria including ingredient storage and preparation processes, cleanliness and integrity of shop equipment and observation of cooking practices.

Having being crowned the top shop in each of their respective regions, the 10 hopefuls will now put their presentation skills to the test in one last judging round. F

acing a specialist judging panel – consisting of representatives from leading trade bodies, the fish and potato supply sectors and past awards champions – they’ll be quizzed on a diverse range of industry-related topics and be required to demonstrate how they successfully run a profitable business and plan for future development.

Held in London on January 25 2016, this final judging stage will determine the overall national winner that will be announced at an awards ceremony on January 26 2016.