Its two stores are based in Thorndon and Mount Victoria in Wellington.
The idea has been brewing in the the back of Keith’s mind for a long time. He recalls looking at sites for The Chippery up to 10 years ago.
He found the right site in 2013, finally, and The Mount Victoria store was launched. Its second outlet, located in Thorndon, opened this month.
The Chippery is a collaboration between Keith, who was the head chef at Vista Restaurant for almost 20 years, and fisherman Grant Robinson.
Keith says they found a gap in the market for quality takeaway fish and chips.
“I knew it could be a lot better, as people would come into the restaurant and pay good money for fish and chips, yet they were always disappointed when they got it from a takeaway shop,” he says.
So he decided to reinvent fish and chips as a classier affair, where customers are offered a range of choices for their batters, fish types and chips.
“It’s based on how fish and chips are cooked are in a restaurant, rather than in a takeaway shop,” he says. “The fries are cooked separate form the fish and put together last.”
The menu is a choice-filled affair, minus any dodgy spring rolls or deep-fried Moro bars.
The menu offers 16 different types of fish and six choices of batter, including a gluten free option.
There are also six different types of chips, and burgers, sides and salads.
It’s not just the menu that’s a little more on the glitzy side, either.
The Thorndon store doesn’t look like your typical takeaway shop.
It’s decked out in white weatherboards on the outside, baby blue walls on the inside and complete with a chandelier above the counter.
There’s also the eye-catching giant fish sitting on top of the building.
“I don’t like generic looks [for stores]. They tend to become boring if they all look the same,” Keith says.
Business has been busy for The Chippery. Keith says Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays are the craziest.
“I remember when we worked the first Sunday, I thought everyone had given up on Sunday roasts,” he says.
To keep up with demand, the company’s website uses Mobi2Go, an ordering system where customers can place an order and pay online or on their mobile, then come and pick up in store.
There is also the option of ordering off the company’s Facebook page.
Keith says that increases convenience so customers can beat the queue, but also can be challenging at peak hours.
“At times you can get inundated with orders, so we’re working with Mobi2Go and looking at being able to turn the system on or off hourly,” he says.
He says they’ll look to expand to a third Wellington shop sometime in the next 12 months.
For now, he says he’s enjoying having the shop he envisioned come to life.
“It’s been a fun couple of years, building something that’s in your head and then seeing it open in two locations,” he says.