Hayling chippy celebrates success

Coastguard Fish & Chips won the chippy of the year competition. L-R Sam Bird, Toby Strickland, George Reed, Emily Cranstone, Marion Clements, Noreen Morrison, owners Jeff and Caroline Clark and their daughter Charlotte Clark.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132276-1)
Coastguard Fish & Chips won the chippy of the year competition. L-R Sam Bird, Toby Strickland, George Reed, Emily Cranstone, Marion Clements, Noreen Morrison, owners Jeff and Caroline Clark and their daughter Charlotte Clark.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132276-1)

THE winner of the Chip Shop of the Year award said it is his unique ingredients that make his shop cut above the rest.

Coastguard Cafe won the award which saw customers voting for their favourite local chippy.

Located on Sea Front on Hayling Island, the family-owned business got the most votes from its loyal customers.

Owner Jeff Clark is over the moon with the win and puts it down to his local, high-quality ingredients.

Jeff, who was born on Hayling Island, said: ‘It’s great that we have won.

‘I want to say a massive thank you to our customers who took the time to vote for us and to the staff here who have worked, and continue to work, really hard.

‘We have a stream of regular customers. I think it’s our local produce that keeps them coming back.

‘We get our potatoes from a farm on Hayling Island, which always keep us in good supply.

‘I also only buy my fish from one guy, of Southern Seafood, which is of the highest quality.

‘The freshness gives the food a unique taste.

‘You have to get the best ingredients to make the best fish and chips.’

Jeff has been the owner of Coastguard Cafe for the past 30 years but has worked there nearly his whole life.

And he feels proud that all his hard work is being recognised by his customers.

He added: ‘It’s so lovely and great to think that our customers would vote for us over many of the other fish and chip shops in the area.

‘A lot have said that they like the fact we stay open all day every day as they work funny hours.

‘They like to have a place they can visit pretty much any time, any day.’

Coastguard Cafe beat more than 40 fish and chip shops that made the shortlist.

Hayling Island proved to be popular with the voters as they took up three of the final four places. Brittania, at The Hard, came second.

The Dolphin at Sandy Point Road on Hayling Island, came third with Whistler’s on Station Road, Hayling Island, fourth.

Customers picked their favourite chippy based on the delicious, crispy batter and the locally caught fish, the quality of the potatoes and the extras on the menu – like fishcakes, pea fritters, battered sausages and pickled eggs.

Customer service was also a big winner.