Family together... like fish and chips

Heidi, Malcolm, Jeannette and Tracey Cronin and (below) Malcolm and Heidi tuck in.
Heidi, Malcolm, Jeannette and Tracey Cronin and (below) Malcolm and Heidi tuck in.
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TOGETHERNESS is everything in a family especially when it comes to achieving your dream and opening your own takeaway.

The Cronin family have, after years of hard work – sometimes holding down three jobs at a time – got the money together to buy their own business and make sure everyone has full time employment.

Malcolm Cronin and Heidi Cronin tuck in.

Malcolm Cronin and Heidi Cronin tuck in.

They opened Central Diner, on Central Drive, this weekend and are finding trade building up already. Mum Jeanette Cronin, 60, said it had been months of effort but the whole family have been pulling together to get things ready for the big opening.

She said: “It has been worrying and hard work but we are very excited about it. When my husband and I started out with this we were scared to death at first but we are really pleased with how things are going.

“A lady from the pub nearby came in and she said people there had been talking about us so she came in for some fish and chips. A few minutes later her daughter came in because she said her mum’s chips smelled so nice.”

She said she and her husband Malcolm, 62, moved to Blackpool from Ipswich in the 1980s when work became hard to find during the recession. They had run a chip shop in the past and always had an idea to have their own in Blackpool.

But money was hard to come by in those days and Jeanette found herself having three jobs including work in a chip shop and a pub. Her husband worked in bars, a shop and a restaurant and in factories and at the same time they brought up their three daughters Lucy, Heidi and Tracey.

She said they saved money when they could and all had a series of jobs from factory work to shop work.

“We would love to have had the opportunity to open out restaurant then but there was no money and the prices were so expensive so we had not got a chance.

“So we carried on as best we could and saved when we could.

“Then this opportunity came up on Central Drive and we decided to give it a go.

“Our two girls had been finding it hard to get full time employment too.

“So we all decided to come in together and the diner could provide work for all of us.”

So Heidi, 30, and Tracey, 41, joined the family business, while Lucy works for the police in Greater Manchester.

Lucy said: “They have all worked so hard and in the past have found it difficult to find well paid jobs. Now mum and dad have achieved a dream of theirs to open a chip shop.”

She said the shop had been a chippy in the past but had been closed down for nine months. They have spent the past weeks cleaning refitting and redecorating the diner.

They have put in new refrigerators and chillers and have worked on a menu with a broad appeal. They offer the usual chip shop fare plus breakfasts, paninis, baguettes and fresh home-made fruit and berry smoothies. Jeanette also offers a home cooked special every day for those people who might not want fast food all the time.

She said: “There are a lot of single people living around here. There are bed-sits and guest houses with long term leases and those people might not want to cook for themselves so they can come here and get a home cooked meal like I would give to my own family.”