Bloke loves fish and chips so much he’s bought his favorite chippy to run with family


Ian Simmonds fell in love with Bedders Fish and Chips in Birmingham in his early 20s when he was a taxi driver, and around 30 years later he bought his favorite chippy for his family to run

William Simmonds, Shaun Simmonds and Josh Beard now run the shop after Ian bought it

A Brit loves fish and chips so much he bought his favorite chippy and began running it with his family.

Ian Simmonds has been smitten with Bedders Fish and Chips since he was a taxi driver in his early 20s.

The now 53-year-old instantly fell in love with the Birmingham-based chip shop, and has now bought the establishment himself, Birmingham Live reported .

He’s turned it into a family affair as well, to run it with his son, son-in-law and nephew.

The chippy was once owned by legendary US entrepreneur Victor Kiam, who saved the Remington company in 1979.

He became a household name for his TV commercials which included the rather relevant phrase ‘I liked it so much I bought the company’.







Ian’s son, son-in-law, and nephew along with Lorraine Simmonds
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Image:

Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

However Ian, far from starring in his own ad, refused to star in any pictures.

Castle Vale-based Ian said: “That’s just not me and the reason I bought the shop is to help my son-in-law Joshua Beard, son Shaun Simmonds and nephew William Simmonds to run it.”

The family were hoping for a bumper trade on their first Good Friday as Bedders finds itself the chippy of choice for Birmingham City fans, and the Blues were playing that day.

Ian added: “From the first Saturday lunchtime meal I had there, Bedders has always been an institution and you never imagined it would ever be up for sale.

“But then I saw someone mentioning it on a Blues fans’ forum and went straight round, then saw my accountant and simply went from there.







The Simmonds family now run Ian’s favorite chip shop after he snapped it up
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Image:

Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

“I still have to pinch myself to think I’ve got it now. With prices rising so fast, the industry is facing some difficult times ahead, but hopefully we can take it through to the shop’s 100th anniversary (in 2046). We are not going to change anything.”

Ian said he had always been a fan of the way Bedders has always had a large bowl of fresh onions in finger at the point of sale. “I’d say to Martin Bedder back in the day ‘Just a spoon please!’ – some people fill their plate out with them.

“When it first changed hands 15 years and the Carrelli family bought it I was worried things would no longer be the same.

“But they kept things the same and maintained the standards and their (64-cover) restaurant extension in 2014 was excellent.

“Hopefully that’s what we can do, too – so we won’t be selling curries or anything like that, just keeping it like it’s always been.”

The team were excited to open for their first Good Friday together this Easter.







Bedders Fish and Chips
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Image:

Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

Joshua, a former Miller & Carter chef, said: “Hopefully the roadworks outside (on the A45) will be gone by the end of May, and certainly by the time of the Commonwealth Games in July.

“We have kept our prices the same – £7 for takeout fish and chips or it’s £9.50 to sit in including a side – either peas, curry or gravy – a drink and bread and butter.

“The cost of fish, oil and even paper to wrap the food in has all been going up. Prices can fluctuate – the week of three storms saw the price of fish going up because not as many fishermen were going out to sea.

“This is the first year of Ramadan on Good Friday which affects 50 per cent of our customers but hopefully we can still encourage many people to come out to enjoy good fish and chips.”

Having sold up in September, former Bedders owners John and Maria Carrelli are now enjoying putting their feet up. “The only reason we retired is that we were getting older and it was just the right time,” said Maria.







The chippy opened on Good Friday and is the go to haunt of Birmingham City FC fans
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Image:

Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

“Covid, rising prices, roadworks… none of that was anything to do with it, we’d been in business in Leicestershire for years before we came here. Now we can see our friends and our grandchildren again – we had free time before, but we were always using that to try to benefit the business.

“If anything we were even busier during the pandemic. People still have to eat and that’s the same now. As long as you are able to look after your customers, I don’t see any problem (with the challenges ahead).”

The Carrellis were only the second owners of the business they first took on when it was half a century old.

“If we were younger, we would still be there, soldiering on,” says Maria. “Ian, who took over from us, was a wonderful customer of the shop.

“When we took it on, we didn’t change anything ourselves (apart from modernizing the restaurant area) and that approach served us well and hopefully it will help Ian, too.”

And if the Carrellis fancy fish and chips now? “We cook them ourselves,” Maria admits at her home south of Birmingham. “After all, my husband John is an expert!”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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