A POPULAR fish and chip shop has received praise from an MP for its outstanding customer service and community spirit.
Havant MP Alan Mak visited Coastguard Café, on Hayling Island, following its success at the inaugural Havant Small Business Awards.
Mr Mak is on a tour of wards winners and finalists to see how they are getting on. The Coastguard Café won the Best Takeaway category.
The Coastguard Cafe – originally Coastguard Cottages – was first established on Hayling Seafront by Victor and Annie Elliott in 1942.
The business was originally a tea rooms, with a fish and chip takeaway next door.
During the 1960s, the popularity of fish and chips grew, with customers taking food away to the waterside, so the family focused on the takeaway. The Coastguard Café has been a fixture of the Hayling seafront ever since.
A fire in October 2002 necessitated a refurbishment, but owners Jeff and Caroline Clark have worked hard to retain the café’s period charm.
The café, which employs 30 people, celebrates 75 years of trading next year.
Mr Mak said: ‘The Coastguard Café is a real gem that has attracted residents and visitors alike for almost 75 years.
‘The historic takeaway, which has retained its strong family feel and character despite a fire in 2002, is a great local business.’
Jeff said: ‘We were delighted to win the Best Takeaway Award, and want to thank our customers and local residents for supporting us.’