Matthew Black is owner of Black’s Fish and Chips in Halton.
What was your first job?
I was a butcher’s boy for a shop on Queen Street, Morecambe.
One of my first jobs was to deliver the orders.
It was a traditional butcher’s bike, solid and heavy.
I once tried to hop onto the curb, the bike of course didn’t move and I sent the contents of the basket across the pavement.
Chicken and pork chops everywhere.
How do you relax after a hard day’s work?
Playing music. I trained as a professional musician and travelled the world on cruise ships playing alongside celebrities.
I loved the job but after five years, I wanted to settle down and get my own business. Although I love running my shop I do miss my music too.
I play about twice a month in a blues band called ‘The Hustle’ in and around the area.
Proudest moment in business?
After three months of opening we gained the National Federation of Fish Fryers (NFFF) Quality Award.
It’s a thorough examination of the business and it’s based on hygiene, taste, food preparation and customer service quality.
It was great to get a validation that the business is being run well.
We are about to enter for our next award.
Most embarrassing moment at work?
I split my trousers lifting some stock; I had to borrow a spare pair.
What is your biggest vice?
Crisps, I absolutely love them! Perfect job working with fried potatoes then.
Who is the biggest influence on your life?
My mum. She’s encouraged and supported me throughout my life, opening the fish & chip shop was no different.
I regularly chat with her about the chippy and new ideas we can try.
She’s an independent financial advisor, so she’s been essential in the start up.
Word of business advice?
Consistency, this is vital for a fish & chip shop.
I want a portion of my food to be the best quality on any day and time of the week.