Shop hopes to taste success in UK awards

A MORPETH business’ high-quality traditional tea-time treat is among the best in the country, according to an industry organisation.

Carlo’s in Newmarket has been shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category for the National Fish & Chip Awards 2014, organised by Seafish.

It will now attempt to out-fry the other shops in the running – The Cod’s Scallops in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire; Godfrey’s in Harpenden, Hertfordshire; The Scallop Shell in Frome, Somerset; Blackstocks in Chester, Cheshire; Scotts of Helmsley in York, North Yorkshire and Mary Lambert in Hartlepool, County Durham – in the hope of winning the accolade at a ceremony in London in January.

Having only been open for a relatively short period of time, Carlo’s owner/manager Andrew Watt, formally a scaffolder, is excited to be a part of the awards.

He said: “I’m thrilled to bits to be on the shortlist.

“We’ve been striving to make the shop among the best in the country and this nomination proves that we’re doing it right. We’ve always tried to move with the times from a business perspective, but when it comes to food our message is always the same: traditional fish and chips as it should be.

“We’ve stepped up our game since entering the awards and we’ll be doing the same again for the final stage.”

The Best Newcomer Award, sponsored by Frymax, is open to independent fish and chip establishments that have been operating since no earlier than September 30, 2011, and recognises the fledgling businesses that have excelled since day one of their existence, demonstrating the growth of the industry and the encouraging outlook for the future.

Carlo’s developed an excellent reputation in Alnwick over many years and after deciding to expand, owners Carlo and Laura Biagioni went into partnership with Mr Watt and his wife Abbie so they could open up a shop in Morpeth.

Seafish CEO Paul Williams said: “The Best Newcomer Award is a great indicator of what the future holds for the food service industry. It acknowledges the new and successful people entering the trade from many different backgrounds and careers, and celebrates their achievements thus far.

“The consistently high standards and unwavering commitment these entrepreneurs are putting into their business offers inspiration to others looking to break into the industry in years to come.”

Each shortlisted business will now receive a mystery judging visit from an industry specialist, who will assess their performance in a variety of areas including product quality, customer service, food preparation procedures, hygiene, innovation, staff training and development, promotional activity and approaches to sustainable sourcing.