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THREE Stourbridge chippies vying for top takeaway award

By Luke Bartlett | Stourbridge | Entertainment | Published:

Six fish and chip shops across the Midlands have been shortlisted for a prestigious award - including three in one Black Country town.

Chris Preece, manager of Merchants in Stourbridge, pictured last year with a calamari dish

Stourbridge appears the place to get your cod and chips after three shops were shortlisted for the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year at the 2018 National Fish and Chip Awards organised by Seafish.

They are Merchants, Norton Fisheries and Oldswinford Fish & Chips.

Other ones in the Midlands Merchants in Bewdley, The Golden Carp Chippy in Redditch and Winyates Chippy in Redditch will all face off to become the best fish and chip shop in the UK at the 'Oscars' of the fish and chip industry.

The 60 shortlisted will be whittled down to the top 20 on September 4 and then to a top 10 on September 11 ahead of a winners 30th anniversary ceremony in London on January 25 next year.

Chris Preece, manager of Merchants in Stourbridge, said: "We're really pleased, we won it in 2014, it was our first year of winning it.

"We're over the moon to get this far really, we know we're up against some good shops, It would be a nice bit of competition for Stourbridge.

"We have got Oldswinford who won it last year, they obviously stepped their game up.

"We are very confident, we're all over the moon, the staff were all over the moon when we told them all.

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"It's not just about me, the shop, it's about everything - the whole package."

"If we do get through we could end up against our shop in Bewdley, two Merchant shops in the final, that would be sensational.

The award-winning chip shop, in Worcester Street, Stourbridge, who have also been noted for selling the Mediterranean seafood calamari, will now look to win the award.

Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: “This award showcases the best of the best, the local fish and chip shops that we all love to eat from.

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"The calibre of shops in this year’s top 60 is outstanding – they are a true representation of our industry and sum up perfectly why British fish and chips are, and will always be, the best in the world.

"With 60 shortlisted shops to choose from, why not take a trip to your nearest contender and see how you rate it?”

The competing shops have had their frying skills put to the test as well as being judged against vigorous criteria, including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, staff training processes and marketing techniques.

Reigning champions Nikki Mutton and Craig Maw of Kingfisher Fish & Chips in Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, said: “We were absolutely elated when we won the title of best fish and chip shop as part of the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards.

"We’ve been so busy serving our brilliant customers that we’ve had to hire more than 10 new members of staff since winning the title in January.”

For more information or to view the full shortlist visit www.fishandchipawards.com or follow @FishnChipAwards #FishnChipAwards.

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