Named after Mrs. Middleton, who ran the shop up to the 70's, Middies, owned and run by Tony Wallace and his brother-in-law Luke, is a Fish and Chip shop in the traditional sense. With a queue winding out of the door during peak opening at lunch and teatime, the staff are committed to providing good service and value to a loyal and growing customer base.
“We're proud of continuing the tradition of a good batter and quality fish with seasonal chips, but we still have an eye on the way the market and consumers expectations are developing. We take orders by phone to help customers avoid queuing, and card payments offer an extra level of convenience most customers expect these days.” Said Tony.
Tony runs regular promotions, whether seasonal, event based or simply to maintain interest, and social media is a proving to be a great tool to generate engagement with the local area, although it can also offer a wider reach. "We'll often exchange good natured tweets with other Chippies in the area or nationally, it's good to feel part of a larger community and helps spread the message about the Fish and Chip offer." The Middies Team also appear in Social Media as cartoon characters, which stand out in timelines and feeds; and are adaptable for any promotions which are running.
Past promotions include battered Strawberries with local clotted cream ice cream during Wimbledon a couple of years ago. "That was great for our profile, we appeared on local radio and the DJ's did a tasting live on air, the story also went viral and appeared in numerous local papers as far afield as Bath". More recently Tony has been mixing up his pastime of Snooker with the business, "We've organised local exhibition events with Steve Davis and John Parrott guesting, so they've both been photographed in the shop collecting their Fish and Chip supper before the events - it's good for the Shop and the customers find it amusing when a much loved celebrity shows up and has a chat while they are served."
What really shows through is the enthusiasm for getting it right, and Tony still gets a real kick being behind the counter - even on his last Birthday he was frying up ready for the evening opening. “Getting the batter balanced, the Beef-fat perfect and having a good delivery of quality fish - there's still an on-going challenge in producing a perfectly fried, great tasting meal. I still look forward to seeing both new a regular customers and having that banter with them, our die-hard customers have been with us for decades”.
Middies also offers catering for local businesses and will deliver larger orders which keeps things interesting "often we'll have a regular customer who suggests us when they have a team-lunch or group order - we're happy to prepare and deliver - its good for our profile and often we'll gain new customers who'd have just ordered a Pizza or similar, there's always an opportunity presenting itself to win someone over who may not have had a really good Fish and Chip meal for a while, or they may patronise a different shop in the town - it's all good for us to have the opportunity to show them what they are missing".