Tuesday, January 22, 2013
A father-of-five who quit his job as a roofer to learn the fish and chip trade is celebrating after opening his second shop at the weekend.
With queues of hungry customers snaking around the shop, the Frying Machine in Colman Road opened its doors to customers on Saturday.
Paul Utting, who used to run his own roofing business, decided to have a career change in 2001.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Wroxham with his wife, Tracey and five children Darren, 22, Jessica, 16, Thomas, 15, Sophie, 13, and Ben, 11, said: “I was working on the roof of a house in Carrow Road. I was covered in soot and it started to rain so we had to stop. It was wet, cold and horrible.
“I called Tracey to tell her I would pick some fish and chips up on my way home. I walked into the Frying Machine in Catton and the owner, Tony Doyle, looked up and asked what happened to me. I told him I had been working on a roof and that I would much rather have a job like his.”
Over the next six months, Mr Doyle trained Mr Utting in his fish and chip shop during his spare time.
“I was never paid during my training,” Mr Utting said. “A lot of people thought I was mad at the time.”
After spending six months training, he took over the shop in Catton. He sold it a year later and ploughed his savings into the Frying Machine, in Furze Road, Thorpe St Andrew which opened in 2002.
Mr Utting took over the former Indian takeway site in August and spent six months gutting and renovating the unit before opening on Saturday, January 19, in partnership with his cousin, Paul Locke, 48.
He employs 14 people at the shop in Furze Road and a further 10 at the new Colman Road branch.
“Everyone has been brilliant. The new shop is in a good location. I love my job - I love the people and the staff are brilliant,” Mr Utting added. “Our customers queue in the rain, the snow and even when the sun is beating down on them.”
*Do you know about a new business opening in Norwich? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org