Diving into business
A HEARTFELT enthusiasm to serve the community they're part of has propelled Tara and Ashley Walters towards their dream of running their own fish and chips shop with Hooked on Fish & Chips set to open this Thursday.
With a complete refurbishment nearly finished, Mrs Walters - who grew up in Clermont -said the town was becoming busier again with further housing developments and an increasing mining interest.
She said the shop, formerly Mayfair Fish & Chippery, would be open daily from 11am-8pm and would focus on providing quality lunches and meals for people in the area.
"We wanted to make it bit more on-trend with the major renovation which includes all new benches at the front and flooring,” Mrs Walters said.
"We want it to be fun and fresh and we want people to sit outside and relax, or there's stools inside.”
The couple's three children - Lillie, 14, Lawson, 13, and Darcy, 11 - will also help in the shop along with six staff members.
"The kids are very excited - they'll pop their little faces up every now and then helping out.”
Mrs Walters said a selection of memorabilia showcasing the region will decorate the shop, including aerial shots of the town and a newspaper article about the shop when it originally opened 11 years ago.
"We're not going to change a lot about how the fish and chips are cooked. There'll also be burgers and some classics with calamari and squid.
"It will be a place where people can sit and eat and we'll have some music playing.”
She said friendly service was key and her aim was to remember her regular customers by name rather than using numbers.
"I'm excited to be in the community,” Mrs Walters said.
"I want to have that personable feel where people know you by name and you can walk in and be remembered.
"It's kind of that 'old school' service.
"I'm looking forward to serving our customers, and I like to cook so I'm looking forward to cooking for them.”
The menu will also feature home-made quiche and lasagne and freshly made paninis and Turkish breads.