Nelson chip shop owner takes top national award

Lee Holt with top national fish and chip award (S)
Lee Holt with top national fish and chip award (S)

A YOUNG Pendle businessman, who has developed a successful fish and chip shop, has won a top national award.

Lee Holt (24), who won local awards in the Pride of Nelson honours and Pendle Business Awards, has been crowned best newcomer in the 23rd annual National Fish and Chip Awards.

He runs Holts Fish & Chips, in Scotland Road, Nelson, which was named the winning shop at a ceremony in London, hosted by food critic Jay Rayner.

The award recognises outstanding new talent entering the fish and chip shop trade, and is open to independent fish and chip takeaways, which have been trading for 18 months or less.

Holts Fish & Chips battered competition from chippies in Devon, Shetland and Dorset to win the title.

The organisers said: “Holts takes a ‘no frills’ approach to fish and chips. Run by Lee, the shop sells haddock and chips, and does not offer ‘non-traditional’ items such as burgers, chicken or even sausages.

“Lee’s ultra-traditional approach of a small menu selling just fish, chips, peas, pies and puddings, has helped him to reach the final four in the National Fish and Chip awards in the newcomer category. The shop takes care to get the freshest produce from local suppliers.”

Lee employs one full-time and six part-time staff, including his mother, Linda.

He said: “I was absolutely over the moon. I was completely shocked – I didn’t expect to win at all.”

Andy Gray, customer development manager for Seafish, said: “The best newcomer category rewards outstanding new talent entering the trade.

“The achievements of Holts Fish & Chips are highly impressive, and the contest for top place was closely run, thanks to the high calibre of each of the shortlisted shops.”

Cyril Solomons of Frymax, which sponsors the best newcomer award, added: “We were impressed by the commitment and determination of Lee Holt, and his team, to establish a quality traditional fish and chip shop in their home town.

“This shop demonstrates good practices, high standards of hygiene and sells on a quality and not a price platform.

“Its marketing takes into account the requirements of the local population. Holts deserves to succeed.”