WOMEN IN FISH AND CHIPS EVENT HAILED A SUCCESS
The organiser of the inaugural Women in Fish and Chips conference (WiFC), JJ Foodservice, has reported that its first event which took place in Birmingham in January has been a success.
Shops up and down the UK from Scotland and Wales down to Devon and Cornwall attended the day, which hosted eight Award-winning speakers sharing personal success stories, market trends and staff-retention tips.
Head of Communications at JJ Foodservice and event Chair, Elit Rowland, said, “It was a privilege to be able to bring together many the industry’s top female-owned shops in the first UK event of its kind.”
More than 50 shops attended on the day, a mixture of established and up-and-coming talent.
Sarah Heward, Joint-Owner of The Real Food Café in Tyndrum was voted the best speaker after sharing the compelling story of how she over-came the loss of her husband, theft in the business, and family illness to take her shop from bankrupt to £1.4million turnover.
‘’It can be isolating being in a senior position or running your own company. It can be doubly isolating being a woman in business as females are still massively in the minority. Women empowering, inspiring and supporting each other will help change these statistics gradually.”
She added, ‘’As a progressive industry, fish and chips should be a leading light when it comes to championing equality. Well done JJ Foodservice for putting this together.”
Kelly Barnes, Joint-Owner of Krispies, Exmouth (officially the UK’s no.1 fish and chip shop) said, “Today was a fantastic event – it showcased women in our industry in a positive light, it was great to hear from so many speakers. Events like these give you fire in your belly! JJ’s did a fantastic job – I look forward to the next one.”
The conference took place at The Studio in Birmingham New Street on January 13th. Shop owners speaking on the day included Caroline Murphy, Director of Wetherby Whaler which has five sites in Yorkshire; Lesley Graves, co-owner of multiple-Award winning Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln and Janet Colclough, Founder and Owner of Nana Jan’s in Buckshaw Village.
Representatives from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Seafish also presented on the key market trends and opportunities for shops. A workshop on how to improve business performance through your team was hosted by Alan McColm of The Real Food Café.
Chippy Chat Editor Austen Dack joined the mainly female audience on the day too. “It was a great event with some great stories, im sure the group would have learned a lot on the day.”
JJ has confirmed that WiFC will be a regular event. Rowland said, “100% of the people that attended would like to attend more WiFC events in the future, so we will make it happen.”