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Gluten free fish and chips reels in customers

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A North Yorkshire fish and chip shop is “reeling in” customers from all over the region – and beyond – thanks to it catering for wheat intolerant customers.

Soon after taking over Scotts of Helmsley 18 months ago, owner Tony Webster introduced gluten free dishes to his menu after having to turn a potential customer away.

Tony, together with chef manager Shane White, set about designated a part of the kitchen as “gluten free”, with separate fryer, chopping boards and produce, including bread, oil and flour.

This move has resulted in people travelling lengthy distances to the award-winning chippie, who have heard about Scotts from various social media sites.

One of those is Lorry driver Stephen Allen, who makes a weekly 28-mile round trip to Scotts from his home in Thirsk.

The 55-year-old, who makes the journey with his wife, Heather, said: “I have to be incredibly careful what I eat. The tiniest trace of wheat in a dish can bring on crippling pain and stomach cramps.

“When I go out I have to be incredibly careful what I eat – and to a certain extent I have to be trusting of the establishment when they say dishes are gluten free.

“Some of the produce Coeliacs can’t eat include wheat, oats, rye or barley, which rules out normal bread, cakes, pasta, morning cereals and beer. Another thing we can’t eat is Chinese food because soy sauce is fermented in wheat flour.

“I will travel all over the place to find establishments that offer gluten free dishes, and, after researching Scotts earlier this year, we decided to pay them a visit.”

Steve added: “On my first visit, Shane took me into the kitchen and showed me how he prepares his dishes. We have been coming back every week since as these are probably the finest fish and chips I have ever eaten.”

Tony Webster said: “We are delighted to been such a ringing endorsement by Steve and Heather. We work very hard at catering for a wide variety of clients as we are not in the habit of letting anyone down.

“We know the importance of keeping our gluten free dishes separate from the rest, and these precautions are what gave Steve the confidence to try us in the first place.

“We have now introduced a gluten free menu at our Bilborough outlet, on the outskirts of York. 

“We are now reeling in customers with wheat intolerances from far and wide to both venues who just fancy a plate of traditional British fish and chips.”

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Stephen and Heather Allen with Scotts chef manager Shane White

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