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Family retirement sees mart chef take over Ellon chipper

By Kirsty Brown

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AN ELLON food institution has changed hands this week after 50 years of trading.

Jax Food Bar has been run by the Sharman family since opening in 1970 but following the retirement of Lynne this week, who has been running the business for the past 20 years alongside partner David after inheriting the business from her father in law, Graham Fryer has taken to the helm.

The eatery has come under the ownership and management of chef Graham Fryer, who managed Inverurie-based ANM Group’s catering division for 20 years.

Lynne and David Sharman.
Lynne and David Sharman.

He said: “I remember going to Jax myself as a kid, as my family are local to Ellon, and when the opportunity came up to take on the brand and the shop itself I didn’t need long to make the decision.

“Jax has an excellent reputation in the north-east as a good, traditional chipper.

"I’m really looking forward to building on the reputation of this fine establishment and putting my own twist on our offerings.”

The popular takeaway kept its doors open for orders throughout this week’s handover.

The exchange isn’t the first time Graham and the Sharman family have crossed paths, having worked together on occasion through the years in the hospitality industry.

With Lynne now enjoying retirement, Graham will be keeping on the team of experienced staff and the local suppliers.

Taking over Jax Food Bar is Graham Fryers.
Taking over Jax Food Bar is Graham Fryers.

Continuing he said: “With the pandemic, the industry has faced significant challenges and there’s been a huge shift in how establishments are operating.

"People are making an effort to support local and 'dine out' but with the current restrictions ordering in is the new dining out.

“I hope Jax’s loyal customers will continue to come in for their weekly fish suppers, and I look forward to serving new options too like locally-sourced steaks from McWilliams and homemade fishcakes - there will be some exciting changes to come but the pride of our menu will always be our fresh fish suppers, made with the catch of the day from boats that land right up the road in Peterhead.

“Jax has a rich history and a strong brand in Ellon and Lynne worked hard running the shop with her team, building a great reputation.

“I’m pleased to be able to build on that success and continue growing the business with the same excellent food and customer service that it’s known for.”

During his 20 years with ANM Group, Graham oversaw the award-winning catering division, which was recognised as a market leader, operating a large outdoor catering company, as well as the Thainstone Exchange and renowned Porterhouse restaurant.

In his earlier career, he worked at Aberdeen favourites including the former Ardoe House, Queens and Moat House hotels.

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