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‘Money doesn’t matter’: Popular fish and chip shop donates tonnes of food as it closes doors

PUBLISHED: 07:45 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 25 March 2020

Mary Janes chip shop in Cromer has donated tonnes of food to care homes. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mary Janes chip shop in Cromer has donated tonnes of food to care homes. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

The owner of one of Norfolk’s most popular fish and chip shops has donated more than eight tonnes of potatoes as he is forced to close due to the coronavirus lock down.

Grant Zelos, owner of Mary Janes in Cromer, has been travelling to care homes in north Norfolk delivering potatoes and fish.

The 56-year-old said: “It’s been a hard decision but it is the right thing for the country and everything should be locked down.

“I didn’t expect to close when I did and I had a few tonnes of potatoes. I thought ‘I don’t need them’, but there are a lot of care homes around with the elderly and sick, so I thought I’d give it all away.”

Mary Janes has been a family business for more than 40 years with Mr Zelos starting work with his parents in 1977.

Mary Janes Fish and Chips. 

Picture: James BassMary Janes Fish and Chips. Picture: James Bass

The business is run with his son, daughter and son-in-law, and they wanted to give something back to the community.

“Me and my son went round to any care home that answered the phone and kept filling the van up and going round,” he added.

“I started handing bags to people I knew who couldn’t get out of the house, family, friends and even people just wandering the streets. I asked if they wanted fish as well.

“We’ve always done what we can for the community, just to try to give back what they have given.”

Malcolm Hannah, Conor Powell, Abbie Lee and Debbie Mileham from Mary Janes Fish and Chip shop. Picture: ANTONY KELLYMalcolm Hannah, Conor Powell, Abbie Lee and Debbie Mileham from Mary Janes Fish and Chip shop. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Zelos’ charity comes at a time when many businesses will be cutting costs and facing an uncertain future.

But he says in these tough times people need to come first.

He added: “I’ve gone countless miles and I’m stiff and sore from lifting potatoes around but I think we’ve helped a lot of people.”

“I’ve given at least 1.5 tonnes of potatoes out and seven stone of cod and haddock. It’s things that would have perished but I thought ‘what’s the point, people need food’.

“Money doesn’t matter in this time, everyone’s taking a hit, a lot more people are worse off than I am and I just wanted to do my bit for the community.”

Mary Janes, in Garden Street, is closed for the foreseeable future.

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