Why I started The Bay Fish and Chips - The Bay Fish and Chips

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My business journey: Why I started The Bay Fish and Chips

Posted by Calum Richardson in Calum

August 10, 2021

The great taste of The Bay Fish and Chips starts with me, Calum. I’m fortunate enough to have a business that has seen soaring success with the help of dedication, passion, and my love for cooking. Many people ask me why and how I started The Bay, so I’ve answered your questions in this article to share exactly where my inspiration came from for The Bay Fish and Chips.

Calum at the bay fish and chips

Rewind to a time where you were seeking out your career options, what were your goals? 

“In life I wanted to do two things – be a chef and join the Royal Navy. I began as an engineer in the Royal Navy at the age of 16 and I was then faced with the opportunity to get into the hospitality industry. Life has a funny way of working itself out.”


The Bay Fish and Chips wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for your hard work and initiative. How did the idea come about? 

“I had a previous fish and chip shop in my hometown, Stonehaven, but my business partnerships ran their course and it was time to move on. I realised that there was a potential of building a purpose built shop with fantastic location. So, The Bay Fish and Chips opened its doors on 11th of August, 2006.”

The bay fish and chips stonehaven

What’s the best thing about owning a fish and chip shop? 

“I love making people happy through food. Working with a wide range of people and giving them a career or being a stepping-stone in life is really fulfilling.”


Looking back, how would you say The Bay Fish and Chips has changed since you first opened?

“The Bay has become a renowned business that welcomes customers from all over the world. Sustainability has been a key part of the business from day 1 and I am so proud to see how far we’ve come. I have a smart, innovative team that works hard to maintain our standards.”


What is your proudest and best achievement to date?

“We’ve been fortunate to win many awards, but winning Fish and Chips shop of The Year in 2013 was the biggest achievement at that time. It created a platform out of the fish and chips industry into a wider audience. This has since helped The Bay Fish and Chips to win Cateys, 2020, which is the Oscar of the hospitality industry. It is a sense of achievement when it was our goal to aim for but also gives you some belief in what you’re doing is right.”

The bay fish and chips achievements

The pandemic was challenging for many businesses across the country, but what has been The Bay’s biggest challenge so far?

“An easy answer would be pandemic, but we all moved forward and worked together as an industry at the same time. So as much as it was difficult  – you were not on your own. Hardest time for me before opening The Bay Fish and Chips was coming away from a business partnership that turned sour. It was a hard two years but many lessons learned about how you evaluate, trust and how to NOT run a business. I am glad these things happened earlier in my career, but you soon learn that mistakes in business aren’t really mistakes, they are learning platforms.”


For those inspired by your journey, what advice would you give to those wanting to follow in your footsteps?

“I would say go out with a 100% but weigh up the pros and cons as it’s hard on personal life and family. Take advice from good people within the industry who will give you honest opinions, but listen to the advice and stay focused on the direction that you want to go in. Remember – family will always praise you and never see negatively, advice is the best possible thing.”

Pictures of the team

What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since opening The Bay Fish and Chips?

“You are only as good as your last fish supper. Always be willing to adapt and overcome.”


Any final words of wisdom?

“I think it’s important to have an open door approach allowing people to come with suggestions and ideas. They might not be right for that moment, but there might be a time when these things will help you further down the line. You need to trust people and learn to step-back.”

I’m proud of my fish and chip business journey and how far I’ve come in my hometown. If you want to continue to follow me on this journey then you can find me on Instagram

About Calum

At the helm of The Bay is Chef Director Calum Richardson, who works hard to raise awareness on the importance of sustainability in the UK and beyond. As an MSC quality assessor, judge for the NFFF awards and training director at the Scottish Seafood Training Association, Calum is dedicated to raising the profile of the whole fish and chip industry.