Chip shop the plaice to go after top award win

By Jake Chown  
Wednesday 8th December 2021 7:00 am

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STAFF at a Wye Valley chip shop have been praised for their hard work and dedication to serving the local community after winning a prestigious regional award.

The Wye Fry in Lydbrook has won the ’Best Traditional Fish & Chip Shop’ award for Gloucestershire in LUXlife Magazine’s 2021 Food & Drink Awards.

The chip shop, which is located in the centre of the village, was praised for its "varied" menu which caters for a range of dietary requirements for local residents.

Lifestyle publication LUXlife recognises businesses which are "shining with excellence" through its annual awards, which also celebrate travel and tourism, hospitality and global excellence.

Owner Rajesh Maurya, who established The Wye Fry in 1999, said he was "surprised" that the business was named as the number one fish and chip shop in all of Gloucestershire, not just in the Forest of Dean, which he described as "a big thing".

"We’re creating something special for the village and visitors to the area by providing both high quality and affordable food", Rajesh said.

"Most of our customers are locals who have been enjoying our food for many years and I thank them for their continuous support.

"Having had the business for many years I have gotten to know the village and maintain a personal touch with all of my customers."

LUXlife described The Wye Fry’s offering as a "unique take" on the traditional menu, which is based on classic British fish and chips but has broadened to include dishes inspired by Rajesh’s heritage, including his family recipe of masala fish.

Rajesh says he constantly reviews his menu using feedback from customers to keep standards high, as well as ensuring that he continues to provide the same levels of customer service he has become renowned for.

He is no stranger to having to change with the times, having enhanced his menu, adapted his advertising and increased his online presence through the years, but says the impact of Covid-19 has affected the business significantly in the last 18 months.

"We had to adapt the working environment to be safer for customers by enforcing more sanitation rules and a one-way system to allow a contactless and socially distanced environment," he explained.

"Although we feel as though we have restored the business to its pre-Covid status, the number of tourists in the area has decreased, as has our number of clients, but we are very excited for their return to the Forest of Dean."

Rajesh was also praised for his looking after the happiness of his staff, most of whom are from local families who are looking for part time, flexible work, and he believes the shop’s "friendly, family feel" is representative of people in the village.

He also operates as a charity collection point to help the homeless in India, and his customers have made a significant difference with contributions of blankets and food.

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