Taxi man launches new gourmet fish and chip van
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a taxi firm has spent £40,000 converting a van into a gourmet fish and chip shop, which has just launched on the north Norfolk coast.
Peter Thorogate, 47, has high hopes for the new venture, called Chish and Fiddy, since his taxi firm is still running about 40pc down on last year due to coronavirus.
Mr Thorogate, who worked as a chef for 20 years in places such as the Seamarge at Overstrand and the White Horse at Blakeney, said he was thrilled to be back in the kitchen.
The Sheringham resident said: “The taxi company obviously got hit very hard by Covid, so during the lockdown I thought about where I could invest in another business. I did a search for ‘fish and chip van near me’ and the nearest one that came up was 46 miles away, so I thought there might be a bit of a gap in the market.”
Mr Thorogate said the van would be based opposite the play park in Cromer Road, Sheringham on Friday and Saturday evenings, and would move around the town and nearby villages through the rest of the week.
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He said food vans were a booming sector, which had been spurred on by different lifestyles brought about by the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Thorogate said: “There’s a big proportion of elderly people around here who are still shielding, so I can go straight to those streets, and hopefully offer something in those villages haven’t had before.”
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He said his concept was to offer a gourmet spin on traditional fish and chips.
“It’s bespoke fish and chips,” he said. “For example our mushy peas have fresh peas, spoked bacon and fresh mint on top. We’ll have a quality beef burger, vegetarian and vegan options - just doing things a bit differently.
Mr Thorogate said he also planned to do catering at special events and had already had three bookings for weddings next year, before the business was even launched.
He added: “It has been fantastically well received although there’s a lot of competition out there. I’m hoping to set myself apart by doing these little cheffy bits that will wow the customers.”
Mr Thorogate said he started Sheringham-based PD Taxis five years ago as just himself driving one vehicle, and he now had five drivers and five taxis. He said that by taking himself out of the mix it meant he could keep his taxi staff on despite the drop in business.