Restaurant celebrates Scottish Retail Business Awards win
Cromars Fish & Chip Restaurant & Takeaway in St Andrews could soon need a bigger trophy cabinet after adding another award to its growing collection.
The Union Street eatery, which is a former winner of Scotland’s Fish and Chip Shop of the Year and several other accolades, picked up the award for St Andrews Best Business at the Scottish Retail Business Awards, held on Friday at the Keavil House Hotel in Crossford, near Dunfermline.
Although the many industry awards Cromars has won in its short, three-year life have been extremely satisfying, it’s the customer-led awards which mean the most, says Wendy Frame, who has recently joined the business as a co-owner.
She said: “It’s absolutely great to know that this award is entirely down to our customers. If we didn’t get enough votes from them, we simply would not have won. To think that they have taken the time to go online and vote for us is amazing. We really appreciate their custom and their continuing support.
“Cromars is all about the best customer service and elevating a fish and chip restaurant to a new level with delicious, sustainable fish and chips, daily specials, locally sourced products and a welcoming environment. We are a destination now in St Andrews which is brilliant.
“We have enjoyed winning titles like Scotland’s Fish and Chip Shop of the year and even Takeaway of the Year in the Scottish Food Awards, but this latest one really means a lot to us. We are proud to be located in St Andrews which has become a fantastic foodie town which looks after its food producers, its restaurateurs, its distilleries, and its retailers.
“This is reaping dividends in that foodie people come from all over the world to visit for the food and drink offering now as much as the golf.”
Frame, who used to run her own nursery, is now working closely with Trisha Cromar to look at ways of improving the business even more.
She said: “As two women together, who are also friends, and understand where we want this business to go, we feel that we can achieve a great deal.”
Having originally come from Peterhead, Frame could be said to have great fish and chips in her DNA. Many of her relatives and family friends are still involved in the fishing industry and she has been working with her cousin, Iain Stephen of Lunar Fisheries, on fish supply.
She said: “I regularly visit the fish market in Peterhead. I wanted to see exactly where the fish we use at Cromars comes from. We only use MSC certified haddock which is sustainable. It was fascinating, I even managed to find one of the trawlers that fishes the MSC haddock and met the skipper. A 4am meeting was indeed an early start. I feel that Cromars is the business for me though!”
In the past few months since she came on board, Frame has been busy organising fundraising drives for the Fisherman’s Mission and local St Andrews branch of the RNLI. By choosing special dishes such as fritto misto and deep fried baby squid with a light batter – great with a fresh crisp salad, rock salt and slice of lemon, which are offered to customers, a donation went towards the charities for each dish sold.
She added: “There’s been a lot going on. We’ve supported the BID St Andrews Fashion Show and Savour St Andrews, and we sponsored the student doctors at the Uni in a sports contest. We also embrace our social media with gusto at Cromars so customers can keep up with all our news on facebook and twitter. We also hope to hold an event for Food from Fife later in the year, as they are a brilliant organisation in which to be a member.”
Trisha Cromar said: “Cromars is always improving, and it’s great to have Wendy committing to help us grow and develop even more.
“We’ve made a number of improvements to the business over the past six months, including installing a brand new kitchen floor, buying new fridges and an extension to the KFE frying range to help with the higher demand following the success of last year. It’s a constant re-investment for us in this business, looking at ways of improving our service and food quality.”