A young Stonehaven woman has been named one of the brightest new stars in the UK fish and chip industry.
Courtney Thomson, who runs the town’s Redcloak Fish Bar, has been shortlisted for the Best Newcomer Award at the 2020 National Fish and Chip Awards.
Courtney, 20, will battle it out for the title with nine other businesses in January.
The award recognises business owners and operators with less than one year’s experience in the industry and those who have switched career from other business sectors.
Courtney also made it into the UK top 10 for the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year award.
She told the Leader: “I’m completely overwhelmed at being shortlisted for best newcomer and being in the UK top 10 for young frier as well.
“I entered the industry in January this year and I never thought I’d get far in the competitions.
“I was looking to get feedback in my first year and progress next year.
“Taking over the shop in July and entering in both competitions has been the most amazing experience and I’ve met lots of inspiring people in the short time.”
Courtney says everyone she has met in the industry is ready and willing to help out, or share experience and advice.
The young businesswoman added: “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing team in the shop and family.
“Being 20 and owning and running a business is a whirlwind and has lots of highs but, of course, some lows.
“I received so much support from customers and the community in Stonehaven.
“It’s such a lovely feeling. Being my first venture it’s been completely new but I’m finding my feet and enjoying every second of it.”
The 10 finalists will now compete to take home the coveted title of the UK’s Best Newcomer as judges make a final round of visits to each of the businesses to undertake mystery dining assessments and full inspections of all aspects of the respective shops.