The owners of a Burslem chippy are celebrating this month as their eatery turns 100 years old!
Popular May Street Chippy, on May Street, Burslem, has been a firm favourite the local community for the past century.
A carving on one of the bricks outside the chippy reads ‘1920’.
Over the years, the business has had several different owners, but Dave Llewyn and his wife Sue, from Kidsgrove, took over the chip shop a year ago.
After being open for just a few months, the duo had to close their doors following the first national Covid-19 lockdown. Businessman Dave has COPD and had to shield to protect himself.
But now the chippy is back to business as usual after a tough year – and they want to put their humble chippy on the map.
“When we took over the shop, we had to do a lot of work,” explained Dave, “it was quite run down.
“Everyone in Burslem knows May Street Chippy, so we wanted to take it back to what it used to be.
“We weren’t open for long before the first lockdown, but we were doing well, especially with the football customers that we get.
“But then we had to close when lockdown hit. I have COPD so I had to shield, and we didn’t open again until June.
“It has been hard throughout the pandemic, especially when Vale stopped playing because we didn’t get the crowds that we used to get on a Tuesday and a Saturday.
“But customers have been very supportive and locals are always popping in and they say they’re glad that we have taken over the shop and taken it back to how it used to be.
“We’re really proud of how we have turned it around and we want to put May Street Chippy on the map.”
Taking on the business was a big career change for Dave, whose previous jobs have included DJing, electroplating and selling hot tubs.
“It’s totally new for us,” said Dave. “It’s a lot of hard work and we had no knowledge of the business when we started, but I wish I’d done it 30 years ago.
“It’s really picking up now and we are so proud of it. We know our regulars by name and we know their orders.”
Dave and Sue say they’re proud of the ‘fresh’ food that they offer – and they have adapted the business to keep people safe in light of the pandemic.
“Our food is always fresh, and we always have different deals on so customers can get a bargain.
“Our best sellers are always fish and chips and sausage and chips.
“We want to keep our prices as low as possible, and we do what we can to entice people in.
“We encourage orders over the phone now, whereas before we didn’t like doing that. But now it’s much safer and means that people don’t have to wait so long outside.
“We don’t have a lot of space inside, so we allow two customers at a time, and we have our big perspex screens up.”
When StokeonTrentLive visited May Street Chippy, there were several customers waiting outside for it to open.
One Burslem resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s the nicest fish and chips I’ve had in a long time.
“It’s beautiful white fish, and when the fish is white, you know that it’s fresh.”