Frying high after 25 years in business

A FISH and chip shop business is celebrating its 25th anniversary thanks to the devotion of one happy family.

Youngs, at The Front in Seaton Carew, has been going strong since it first opened in 1989 with David and Elizabeth Young at the helm.

Youngs fish and chip shop in Seaton Carew is celebrating 25 years in business. Pictured, standing from left, are Les Hodgman, Laura Young, Catharina Hodgman and Nik Young, while seated are David Young and Elizabeth Young.

Youngs fish and chip shop in Seaton Carew is celebrating 25 years in business. Pictured, standing from left, are Les Hodgman, Laura Young, Catharina Hodgman and Nik Young, while seated are David Young and Elizabeth Young.

Now, the happy couple have handed it on to their daughter Catharina Hodgman and her husband Les, both 40. But the message remains the same - we’re here to stay and to reach another 25-year milestone.

This is very much a family affair with six relatives all contributing. David and Elizabeth’s son Nik, 40, is involved although he also works offshore in the oil industry.

And 19-year-old granddaughter Laura Young is also an invaluable part of the team.

The business was built on strong foundations. Elizabeth and David, now 70, previously had chip shops in Lister Street and Owton Manor before they transferred to Seaton Carew.

When they opened at The Front, they moved into a premises previously known as Horemans chip shop.

The couple arrived with a new philosophy which would change the whole outlook to the fish and chip business and Elizabeth, now 68, explained more.

“When we came in, our intention was to open every day of the week which was almost unheard of at the time.”

She said previously, fish shops had only tended to open at the height of the summer season and on Bank Holidays.

Then, when their children grew up, Catharina came straight into the business from school. David said: “It has been a family affair and everyone has pulled together. If there was a job to do, you just did it.”

David jokes: “We had some winters that were so hard, not even the seagulls turned up!” But he added: “We just tightened our belts and waited for the good days to come back.”

Catharina’s ambitious is “to keep Youngs going and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be here for another 25 years.”

She said she had big shoes to fill but David and Elizabeth could not be more proud that the family business was going as strong as ever.

David said he had high hopes for Catharina who was succeeding thanks to “innovative menus which have helped a great deal.” She took over the family concern three years ago.