There’s a new kid on the block selling fish and chips in Porthleven in the form of Benjamin Leech. Ben has opened up Porthleven Fish and Chips, after taking over the former Roland’s Happy Plaice shop. The 20-year-old learned his trade frying alongside his brother Jonny in Garstang, Lancashire
What made you open a fish and chipshop?
Growing up my Dad had many businesses, one of which was a fish and chip shop, I have great memories of the place. A few years ago my big brother Jonny opened his own takeaway and restaurant. I worked with him for 6 months last year and loved it, we had a great time working together and he introduced me to the bigger industry, meeting a few people, visiting a few shops and going to a trade show. I never realised that fish and chips was such a big industry. So when the opportunity of purchasing my own shop in Porthleven, Cornwall came about at the end of last year I knew it was the perfect fit for me.
Has your brother helped you along the way?
Yes. When I worked for him last year he trained me up in all areas of the business, mainly so he could have more time off, but it was still a great opportunity for me to help run a successful fish and chip shop. He has also been a big help with getting my new shop open; someone to offer me advice, helped with organising suppliers, back off house paperwork and we learned from the mistakes he made when he opened his shop. But the main help he’s been is his passion for the industry, this is what I want to replicate and strive for excellence in my own place.
How has the opening couple of weeks gone?
These first few weeks have been awesome! The first full week was half term and being in a gorgeous tourist location we were busy. But as well as the holiday makers we’ve had a great response from the local people who all have been very supportive and encouraging to my new venture which has been greatly appreciated by myself and the team.
How have you changed the shop from that of the previous owners?
At this point I’ve only changed the cosmetics of the shop. As this site has already been popular and the equipment being in good order I decided to just tweak a few things into my own style. A few coats of white paint, the shop used to be bright pink, a bit of tiling, and some new signage. A new fresh look to go with a new owner. We’ve also changed the name, from “Roland’s Happy Plaice” to “Porthleven Fish and Chips” (I know, imaginative right?!).
What are your plans for the future?
To keep producing great fish and chips and represent the industry to the best of our ability in this beautiful location. Maybe a restaurant to complement the takeaway, watch this space.
Your brother did well in the Young Fish Frier of the Year award is this something you would like to do?
Of course! Anything Jonny can do I can do better! Unfortunately, because he is such an old timer, he only got one stab at the completion, I know that you can learn and progress more each year. As I am only 20 I will be getting involved earlier and hope to enjoy the opportunities which come with this award.
What makes your shop special?
The location, Porthleven, is special. Such a beautiful coastal village with people from all over the globe visiting here each year. I would also like to think that I will make it special; I have an enthusiasm for my business and the industry and always work to the best of my ability with a smile on my face.
By Austen Dack & Ben Leech