From teacher to fryer for new owner of Spalding chippy

New owner
 Fardous Ali with a tray of "cooked-to-order" fish and chips outside Westlode Fisheries, Westlode Street,  Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG100317-116TW.
New owner Fardous Ali with a tray of "cooked-to-order" fish and chips outside Westlode Fisheries, Westlode Street, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG100317-116TW.
  • Fardous settles on ‘trial and error’ formula for reopened shop
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The customers are slowly but surely coming back to a Spalding fish and chip which has reopened after a nine-month interval.

Westlode Fisheries, in Westlode Street, is changing the rules for the traditional “chippy” by introducing home-made curries, spices, samosas and fishcakes six days a week, Mondays to Saturdays.

It was my brother who had a word with me about running the chip shop and I told him I could do it

Fardous Ali, Westlode Fisheries, Westlode Street, Spalding

But the new venture is a journey into the unknown for owner and mother-of-two Fardous Ali, of Peterborough, who has gone from working in schools to working the frying pan and cash till.

Fardous said: “My dad always wanted his children to have some sort of business and he mentioned to one of my brothers that the fish and chip shop was available.

“We took on the shop last November and refurbished it, put up new signage and then did a leaflet drop at Christmastime so that people walking past could see that it would soon be open again.

“It’s been a case of trial and error because I’d never run a chip shop before and it was totally new.

“I used to work in schools so I had to get used to working a till and learning how to wrap fish and chips.

“At first, I used to get nervous when there was a queu of people standing there waiting to be served.

“But business has picked up and a lot of our customers who live close by have said ‘thank God there’s a fish and chip shop open on Mondays.’”

In the recent past, Westlode Fisheries had been run Ashiq, Zabir Anwar and Azra Dungarwalla who refurbished the chip shop three years ago.

There is also family involvement now and Fardous said: “It was my brother who had a word with me about running the chip shop and I told him I could do it.

“In the daytime, I run it on my own and then, in the evenings, one of my four brothers or my husband comes and runs it.

“But I’m here most of the time to take on customers’ feedback and if they want some specific, we like to serve them how they want it.”

Apart from her home-made choices of food, some of Fardous’s other ideas for the shop include telephone orders and home deliveries.

She said: “We’re trying to get customers to come back to us and those who have say they like our fish and chips.”