HomeBussinessWicklow family inspired by ‘Amsterdam fries’ opens business serving classic chips

Wicklow family inspired by ‘Amsterdam fries’ opens business serving classic chips

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Chipped, which took up residence in one of the new kiosks in the centre, was launched earlier in April by husband and wife team, Lorna and Jason Gamble, who were inspired by the chips in a cone that are all the rage in Amsterdam and are served with a range of toppings – such as, yes, mayonnaise – and eaten on the go.

While many will baulk at the idea of putting mayo on chips, fans of the classic movie Pulp Fiction will recall the ‘Royal with cheese’ conversation between Jules (Samuel L Jackson) and Vince (John Travolta), where Vince explains, to the horror of Jules, that the Dutch put mayonnaise on their fries.

If you have never tried it, now is your chance – and you don’t need to go all the way to Amsterdam either. Chipped offers three different types of chips, all hand-cut, with sweet potato fries and authentic potato waffles also on the menu. Prices range from €3 to €7 for what’s called a ‘loaded box’. Use your imagination for the latter.

When it comes to the target market, the chip is loved by all ages, and this local family have served everyone from a team of hungry players from Bray Emmets, to pensioners who have sung their praises.

“I had a customer last night that told me her mother is 84 and extremely fussy and she will only eat our chips,” Lorna said. “You know, it’s just because they’re fresh cut potatoes, right in front of you, cut and cooked.”

Lorna and Jason have invested heavily in the new business and have signed a lease at the shopping centre, so it is a big undertaking for the couple, who are not yet able to give up their respective roles as a pay roll specialist and bar tender. They currently employ five staff who work at the kiosk part-time.

While the kiosk occupies a very central site in the heart of Bray, Lorna said that footfall in the shopping centre is still on the low side – but this should change when the other units are opened, with Penneys and Sports Direct due to throw open their doors in the summer.

“We’re doing our utmost to make this work,” Lorna said. “We’re working at the moment, both of us, and kind of sharing the load between us. So we’re hoping when things take off, to be able to go full-time at it.

“Owning a business has always been something I wanted to do,” she added. “And to be honest, I felt genuinely the time was now. I kind of felt it’s now or never.

“So we came up with the idea last year and then we spent a lot of time researching and looking for the ideal venue. And when I went down [to Bray Central], I just knew straight away that’s where I wanted to be.”

With the term of the lease at almost five years, Lorna said that “we’ve literally put everything into this”.

There was also the cost involved in fitting out the kiosk, as “there was nothing in it. It was just a shell, so there was no floor or anything”.

“I genuinely feel it could be very successful,” she said. “Just people need to know that we’re there. It’s cheap and it’s family friendly.

“You know, a man came to me on Friday and he said that him and his three grandchildren, they got a small cone each and it cost him just €12. So that’s why we are trying to keep it sustainable and keep it at an affordable level for everybody.”

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