The Stonehaven fish and chip shop serving sustainable fish
Calum Richardson swapped a life at sea for one behind the fryer in Aberdeenshire - an award-winning decision
When it was announced that The Bay fish and chip shop in Stonehaven had won the Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Award 2013, the standing ovation was not only for owner Calum Richardson’s victory but also an acknowledgment of the Aberdonian’s passion for sustainability.
The Bay is amongst the most highly rated restaurants in the UK from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). It is also the first fish and chip shop to receive the MSC chain of custody giving them 100% traceability of its North Sea haddock from sea to plate.
Richardson’s enthusiasm for sustainability makes him a keen protagonist of locally produced food and supporting the local community. He readily remarks ‘it is easy to keep to these principles when Aberdeenshire hosts such a treasure trove of local produce that we don’t need to compromise on quality.’
Richardson sources all his produce from no more than 50 miles away, including the potatoes and Scottish beef for the handmade burgers. He has even teamed up with Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn to create a beer batter that is available once a week. The digital menu boards inside the shop, which Calum opened with wife Lindsay in 2006, announce which farmer the potatoes come from, which boat catches each day’s fish, and the name of the diver who has caught the scallops.
Richardson always wanted to be a chef but after visiting a careers officer when he was sixteen, he ended up joining the Navy. Once he returned to being a civilian he was given an opportunity to work in a fish and chip shop and soon he had bought his own premises. After selling that one, he bought The Bay, transforming it to an award-winning takeaway.
He is proud of their environmental stance which includes zero waste to landfill, recycling all food waste, coffee granules and packaging to compost and waste oil to bio diesel. This approach is good for the environment and for business making them finalists in The Foot print Awards, Community Vote Award category.
He is aware that his approach to sustainability and sourcing has enabled him to ‘provide a slightly superior product offering that stands out from the crowds.’ But it would also be true to say that it is not simply a business approach, but one also born from strong ethics and passion for the great seafood Aberdeenshire offers. His optimism, focus and enthusiasm mean he thrives on the challenges of sourcing locally and that The Bay continues to attract accolades, plaudits and customers.