Tuesday 21 January 2020

Simpsons Fish & Chips expert insight: Oh my Cod! They’re 10!

Simpsons Fish & Chips reveals the weirdest thing they’ve ever battered; what makes their meals so delicious and how they feel after ten years at the top.

Winning more than 20 awards, crowned the best fish and chip shop in the UK in 2016, and serving up over a million portions of fish in chips in the last decade, it’s no wonder that Simpsons Fish & Chips is a household name in Gloucestershire and beyond!

Speaking to SoGlos on their tenth anniversary, Bonny Ritchie, Cheltenham Simpsons’ managing director, explains the secrets behind Simpsons’ success, and reveals the weirdest thing she’s ever battered!


About the expert – Bonny Ritchie


Bonny Ritchie is the managing director of Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham. The company launched in 2009 and celebrates its 10th anniversary in November 2019.

The company was crowned the UK’s best fish and chip shop in 2016 and is known for its unusual battered specials, including Christmas pudding and Cadbury Crème Eggs!

For more information, visit simpsonsfishandchips.com.


You’re celebrating 10 years of Simpsons in 2019, take us back to how it all began.

Simpsons is a family-run business which we started in 2009. I have a sculpture degree, which I did in Brighton and after leaving uni my Mum and Dad said: ‘Well, what are you going to do now, you can’t do much with a sculpture degree’ – which is true really, unless you want to go into teaching…

So, I took on a chip shop that they were just about to open in Cheltenham, and we’ve gone from strength to strength, really.


Simpsons is synonymous with being a ‘cool’ chip shop from your branding and style. How have you kept the business from blending in with other chip shops?

Our brand identity is something that’s been important right from the start. It’s an area that we invest into, and hopefully it shows people that we’re not just a run-of-the-mill chip shop. We really want to stand out and show that we’re genuinely trying to provide the absolutely best product we can for our customers.

You’ve been quite innovative over the years when it comes to marketing Simpsons, what have been some of your favourite promotions?

For us, keeping people eating fish and chips and being just as desirable an option as getting a pizza has been really important, so we’ve had to come up with clever ideas to keep us at the forefront of people’s minds!

We often think about things that we can batter and we don’t take it too seriously – we like it to be fun! We do battered Cadbury Crème Eggs at Easter which came about because we wondered: ‘how could we possibly make a Crème Egg better?’ and actually we sell a lot of them, they’re really popular! All the proceeds go to the British Hen Welfare Trust and this year we donated around £600.

With our battered Scotch Bonnet chili challenge that we ran a couple of weeks ago, we thought: ‘It’s Bonfire Night, let’s batter something hot and spicy and see if we can get people to eat it!’

We also sell a bouquet of fish and chips for Valentine’s Day, where we make potato roses and the fish is battered like the thorns of the rose.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever battered?

Well, before we had the menus above the range, we had a television that once fell in the batter, so that was quite bad! But generally, nothing is that weird for us!

We’ve battered a Christmas dinner before, every year we do a battered Christmas pudding – people absolutely adore it and we sell loads of them.

What is it that sets Simpsons apart from other chip shops and has made you so successful for so long?

We’re MSC accredited, which means that every piece of fish that we sell can be tracked from the exact place in the sea it was caught, who skinned it and who packed it. It means we have complete traceability for every piece of fish we sell.

We also believe that good fish and chips shouldn’t have anything to hide, so we don’t add salt, MSG or bulking agents to our natural batter mix, and always use top quality ingredients.

We have a lot of drive and passion to push ourselves forward, not just within the county, but within the industry. I think that’s what helped us become the UK’s number one fish and chip takeaway in 2016.

But really, it’s hard to answer what sets us apart – you’d have to ask our loyal and lovely customers!


For more information, visit simpsonsfishandchips.com.


© SoGlos
Thursday 21 November 2019

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