AS A THIRD-generation fish and chipper, Jim Tsiantas knows his chips, and for the past 18 years, alongside wife Amy, has served up the best through Torquay Fish & Chips.
Now, after nearly two decades in the game, the husband-and-wife duo has decided it’s time to move on and embrace the next chapter of their lives: family.
“Over summer we can bring in 10 times the amount of business than the quieter winter period. I’m a third-generation fish and chipper and the hours can see you doing 15-hour days,” Mr Tsiantas said.
“My wife and I decided about three months ago it was time to pull the pin and wanted to be able to spend more time with family, it’s been a long time coming now.”
After recently selling the business, the duo invited past and present employees to celebrate the end of their iconic era, which will see new owners take over the Gilbert Street shop on July 16.
“The new owners are going to keep running the business as it is. They’ve also kept on our current staff, which is great. Over the past 18 years I’d say we’ve employed more than 200 staff,” Mr Tsiantas said.
“I’ve learnt a lot from the young kids that have come through the shop. It’s been inspirational to watch them grow up, it’s taught me how to bring up my young children. I’ve built so many relationships and friends, not just staff but other local traders. Torquay has a great community feel and spirit, there’s a lot of warmth in Torquay.”
He said he had fantastic memories over his time at the shop but also challenging ones, which included a fire that burnt the shop down in 2010.
“That was the saddest time for me, those nine months it took to get back up and running. When I first got the call that the shop was on fire I hung up because I thought I was being pranked.
“I just want to focus on family now, I’ve got three young kids and a beautiful wife. We need to spend some time with each other, who knows what the future will bring.”
One thing Mr Tsiantas does know for sure is that his diet will no longer include a daily serving of fish and chips and that good business comes down to persistence.
“I’ll probably get withdrawals and lose a couple of kilos for sure; I love it. I’ve grown up on fish and chips. As for the key to running a successful business, you must be persistent,” he said.
“Have good quality products and loyalty. Also, help the community as much as you can; we’ve sponsored so many sporting clubs and events over the years.
“I just want to thank the Torquay community for their support over so many years and am looking forward to having the time to catch up with people for a coffee like a normal person.”