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Fish Friers


Article Date: 2015-11-25

A Moray chip shop has been named Scotland’s Micro Employer of the Year.

The Fochabers Fish Bar received the honour at Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards, delivered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). 

Owner Darren Boothroyd admitted to being delighted but a little overwhelmed when the result was announced.

"It is amazing and we are really delighted. It was a surprise but we are so pleased and I know our customers will be pleased for us as well,” he said.

Judges heard how former RAF aircraft engineer Darren used Modern Apprenticeships to help transform his local chippie into a thriving business.

After leaving the service in September 2013 the opportunity arose for Darren and his family to purchase the Fochabers Fish Bar.

"My parents had a fish and chip shop when I was young so I had an insight into the business,” explained Darren.

He added: "I was a qualified assessor and internal verifier for five years at RAF Lossiemouth and recognised the benefits of working with a well-trained, knowledgeable and enthusiastic workforce. Even though it is a very different business, I knew this was the ethos I wanted to adopt.”

Customer service is the main focus at the fish bar which now has three members of staff with Level 3 and level 2 qualifications, and another who is on her way to completing her Level 2 apprenticeship.

Darren said: "For our staff, having a Modern Apprenticeship shows that they have something to contribute and gives them the confidence of having a national qualification and a high degree of pride in what they do.

The training has paid off as the fish and chip shop has won a number of industry awards.

Darren has had great support from his family, plus regular and new customers. 

Darren, his daughter Elise and fish fryer Isla Cruickshank received the Award from Edinburgh chef Duncan Shaw. Duncan, who works at the capital’s Sylvesters restaurant, was last year’s Level 2 Apprentice of the Year and created the menu for this year’s Awards.

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates added his congratulations and said: "The success of Darren and his team shows how committed employers across Scotland are giving young people an incredible start to their careers.”

This month also sees Modern Apprentices visit secondary schools across the country as part of SDS’s drive to encourage more young people to consider apprenticeships as a career path. 

Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships and search for job vacancies at


Fish Friers