October 31, 2020

Harrogate fish and chip shop serves up more than just takeaways to local community

Fish and chip shop Harrogate Fisheries has delivered hundreds of meals to elderly residents in Harrogate since the start of the year. Owner Tim Phillips and his wife Sophie introduced a free delivery service for the elderly at the start of lockdown after recognising many of their regular customers were unable to access online delivery sites.

The couple have also been delivering to a number of retirement homes in Harrogate, delivering up to 20 portions a time where many residents have not left their rooms since the start of lockdown.

This service has given as many locals as possible a taste of normality.

Former IT Sales Director Tim purchased Harrogate Fisheries at the end of 2019 using a five-figure funding package from NatWest. Despite having to briefly close the business in March under the government’s coronavirus guidance, the husband and wife duo reopened Harrogate Fisheries in April for takeaway via Deliveroo and telephone orders, which has enabled them to continue trading and retain a team of five staff.

The business has previously donated meals to Harrogate Homeless Charity, helping to feed residents staying in the charity’s hostel and regularly donates leftover food produce to minimise waste and support the charity. 

Situated on Skipton Road, Harrogate Fisheries offers traditional fish and chips as well as more specialist items such as fried halloumi and battered black pudding. The shop has been operating in accordance with government coronavirus guidelines and reopened its doors for walk-in orders in May. 

The couple now hope to expand the existing menu with a variety of new additions, including side dishes, desserts and meal deals. 

Tim said: “Since taking over the business last year, it is safe to say we have had an eventful few months. After briefly closing in March, we thought about how we could best help the community during this time and launched our elderly delivery service to local residents which has received great feedback. Our meals have become the highlight of the week for many vulnerable elderly people. Families who can’t visit their relatives or friendly neighbours are buying fish and chips for each other as a weekly surprise. 

“We’ve been keen to support our local community where we can and we will continue to run our elderly delivery service even as we come out of lockdown as we have reached many people who now rely on it for their weekly treat.

“The support from NatWest enabled us to fulfil our dream of being business owners and we are now looking forward to returning to our normal opening hours with a full team of staff.”

Elizabeth Smith, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “We supported Tim and Sophie to purchase Harrogate Fisheries from its previous owner in 2019 and it has been amazing to see how they have adapted to a difficult situation. They have continued to offer customers great food and their new delivery service has proved a real hit with the local community.”