Colin Cromar has been involved in the fish and chip industry for an impressive 31 years and his most recent venture is Cromars Fish & Chips in the beautiful Scottish seaside town of St Andrews with business partner William Frame. We caught up with this busy man to ask him about what goes into running this award winning business and to hear about the fantastic range of sustainable seafood on offer.
A typical day for Colin starts at 8am and he drops his kids off at school on his way in to the shop. Mornings are spent busily prepping the fish and potatoes and getting the fryers ready for the lunchtime rush. A quick coffee before the doors open at 11am and the customers begin to arrive!
“Customers can order from the large variety of fish on our menu and this includes cod, hake, salmon, mussels, scallops, scampi, plus others” says Colin. “There’s also a sustainable fish dish on our special board such as coley or mackerel. All our fish is responsibly resourced and landed at Scottish ports – we only use fresh fish! We’ve become the 50th MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) accredited fish and chip shop in the UK and we’re totally focused on offering responsibly resourced sustainable seafood”.
The fryers are on the go non-stop throughout the day and into the evening, with business partners William and Wendy Frame making regular phone calls to Colin as they deal with other aspects of the business. The customers continue to come in thick and fast with the bestseller on Cromars’ menu being the MSC certified haddock and chips. Healthy options are always on offer too: “Like all our seafood dishes, the haddock can be battered, grilled or breaded” says Colin “and we can also serve it with salad instead of chips”.
“I’d recommend our MSC mussels with our homemade Thai sauce, and our Amity scampi is definitely worth a try!” adds Colin.
Service in the shop ends at 11pm but there’s still important work to be done including a full clean down of the shop, plus paperwork. Colin’s day ends at around 1am, so it’s a demanding job but the customers certainly appreciate it!
“We were nominated by our customers for the Scottish Food Awards 2014 for our cafe/ bistro and we won the North East Scotland category. We were also in the top six restaurants for the 2015 National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awards and we won Scottish Food Awards 2015 for Best Takeaway of the Year and the overall winner.”
“Customers comment on the fact that Cromars is an attractive, clean shop, and that the fish and chips are the best, so we like to think they’re rooting for us in all the competitions we enter. Every award whether big or small is important to the growth of the business and is great for staff morale. We love chatting with our customers about our awards!”
Colin and his team have brought this shop right up to date and transformed it into a contemporary stylish award winning fish and chip restaurant/ takeaway, but Colin also knows you can’t go wrong with a classic – when asked to name his number one seafood dish he plumped for a delicious Cromars battered haddock and chips!
For more information about Cromars, go to their website: www.cromars.co.uk.