Bespoke Touch: Beyond the Ordinary at Krispies

Bespoke Touch: Beyond the Ordinary at Krispies

Posted by Emily on 29th Jan 2020

Krispies in Exmouth, Devon, prides itself on serving top quality food, whether from the takeaway or its newly opened click-and-collect and delivery shop, and its owners, Kelly and Tim Barnes, are meticulous about the products they use and what goes into them.

“I think it came from watching the Jamie Oliver TV programme about chickens being pumped full of water,” explains Kelly. “It really made me think about what I was eating as well as serving in the business. I guess we’ve become food snobs, which isn’t a bad thing.”

As well as serving a quality product, Krispies also likes to offer a unique experience, and it’s a combination of both these factors that prompted Tim and Kelly to develop a range of bespoke products with Ceres.

Kelly continues: “Over the years, we’d used various off-the-shelf batters, none of them were bad, but it became really important to us to know how our products were made, what ingredients were in them and why. For example, if you add more salt or more caking agents, what’s it going to do to the batter? It goes with our ethos of wanting to give the customer the best product and I found Stelios at Ceres was willing to give us those answers.”

After several recipe tweaks, numerous mornings in the development kitchen and more fish and chips than Tim and Kelly could eat, Krispies bespoke batter was perfected. But Kelly didn’t stop there. She’s also had a bespoke curry sauce made with less sugar and no artificial colourings, and customers clearly love it as the takeaway sells over 100 litres a week.

The batter used to coat Krispies’ famous battered chips, a unique product inherited from the previous owners, has also had an overhaul as Kelly became ever more critical about the products she was using.

“When we first started 20 years ago, we were adding egg yellow to our batter, which is a food colouring. We didn’t know if it was right or wrong, everybody did it,” she says.

“About three years ago, we really started to think to ourselves [this is going to bite us in the arse one day as] this isn’t something we want to be using. We’re creating a really natural product and then we’re putting food colouring in it. Nothing made sense about it so we stopped.”

Working with Ceres, a chip coating rather than a batter was formulated. “We played around with it, added a bit of colour, a bit of seasoning and something to make it a bit crispier,” explains Kelly.

“That’s the beauty of a bespoke product, we’re in control of what goes into it, so we actually get to make it even more bespoke to us. I’ve got to say, the battered chips now are 10 million times better than when we started.”

Krispies’ battered chips are a big seller - 40/60 versus traditional chips - and there’s nothing Kelly and her team love more than converting a customer. “It’s that look we get that says ‘what the hell are you talking about, battered chips?’ But you can’t leave Krispies without trying one.”

With the takeaway having recently installed a new frying range and the click and collect and delivery business growing, Krispies is in the process of developing a second-generation bespoke batter.

Kelly adds: “There’s nothing wrong with off-the-shelf products, they do a fantastic job and serve a great purpose, but bespoke products gives us something that is unique to us, that suits the way we work and can adapt with us.

“I’ve always believed you get what you pay for so it’s really important to me to buy the best products.

“I want customers to come in and, yes it might be £7.50 of fish and chips, but they know they are getting what they’ve paid for. That’s what we’re trying to maintain, making our product worth the money.”

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