“When I first started to think about opening my own fish and chip shop I was full of enthusiasm and energy about my plans but in all seriousness, I had no idea how to make my thoughts and ideas a reality. After all, I was employed in an office with no experience in the food and drink sector so I was starting from scratch.
First and foremost I knew I had to gain experience in the management of a small business. I found the ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’ programme, which provides opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to work alongside experienced entrepreneurs to help them with their career. I applied for the programme but I wasn’t very hopeful of finding a suitable match, or somewhere I’d be able to get the experience I needed.
However, luck was on my side and a few weeks later I received the news that the programme had found a suitable match with Calum Richardson, a successful Scottish entrepreneur in the food and drink industry and owner of The Bay Fish & Chips in Stonehaven. When I received the news, I was on holiday, and I was so excited that I started showing everyone The Bay’s website and talking about my plans! It really felt like it was the beginning of something special.
So, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and resigned from my job in Brussels and then my experience in Scotland began. The initial eight weeks quickly turned into 10, and I was given the chance to learn many things, which encouraged me to open my own business even more. But, more importantly, thanks to Calum’s enthusiasm, passion and competence, it was extremely easy for me to get stuck in, giving me a strong desire to succeed.
Calum’s commitment to his business, sustainability and the food and drink industry in general, shone through from the first moment I met him so I instantly knew I was going to get so much out of the experience. Every single member of The Bay’s team supported and encouraged me every step of the way, which allowed me to soak up the knowledge and practical experience that’s required to serve top quality, sustainable fish and chips.
Quality, passion, sustainability and business management are the key areas in which I feel I have excelled in and I’m very much looking forward to putting these into practice for my own business. Hopefully my fish and chips will be at least half as good as The Bay’s, which are unbelievably delicious.”