BUSINESS REOPENS: Staff frying through the chaos
Flooded with hundreds of orders, the phone ringing non-stop, countless people waiting outside, and staff run off their feet; residents showed their eagerness to get their fill of some salty fish and chips after a nine-month wait.
Closing on June 30, 2019, due to unforeseen family issues, Chinchilla’s only fish and chip shop, Salty’s Seafood reopened yesterday under the new management of Megan Parton.
With the imminent threat of COVID-19, Ms Parton was concerned about the business’s first day of trade but was overwhelmed with the unprecedented amount of community support.
“It’s wasn’t ideal or how I planned but I’m glad I did open to bring a glimpse of positivity into the community during this time of uncertainty,” she said.
Ms Parton had grown up around fish and chips shops, managing one in Mackay when she was younger and working in one in Coonabarabran.
Therefore, when the opportunity arose to purchase the restaurant, she saw it as a perfect business endeavour.
“I’ve been in Chinchilla for over 12 years, so it was a great opportunity to be involved in the community,” she said.
“I thought I would do something for myself instead of working for someone else.”
Starting the preparations at the beginning of March, Ms Parton, along with previous owners Tamara and Tim Pitt and various local tradespeople have been working a substantial number of hours to get the store up and running.
There have been structural changes, the facade has been made over, and some personal touches have been added, but the food promises to be just as good.
Ms Parton hopes that Salty’s can continue to have that strong status among the community that it had before it closed.
“We will try and keep that reputation going by buying fresh, and quality produce,” she said.
“We also make our own potato scallops, calamari and batter.
“So, we’d like to think that by spending much time preparing our food, we hope that we can keep going and the name Salty’s stays the same.”
As the virus continues and as the worries grow, no matter what the future may hold Salty’s will keep striving through and promises to do all they can.
“We just have to keep going and hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we get through it,” she said.
“If we have to shut, we have shut, and we will start again at some point when it’s all over.
“There’s plenty of people worse off than us, and we are just so fortunate at the moment to be able to continue to at least keep our doors open.
“I hope that being in a small community we can stick together and help each other out.”