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Question Time with . . . Courtney Thomson, owner, Redcloak Fish Bar

January 29th, 2020 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Courtney Thomson

What’s been your best food experience?

For my 21st birthday, we went to the Silver Darling restaurant in Aberdeen, which is on the harbour and primarily a seafood restaurant. It’s the perfect location and setting and the food was some of the best I’ve ever tasted.


Who would you love to serve in your shop?

It would be a privilege to serve some of the great industry leaders a fish supper one day.


If money was no object, what would you buy for your shop?

I’d love to do a complete refit in the shop. I’d also love to expand and buy another unit.


What’s your favourite food?

I love seafood. I enjoy trying new things and I try to be adventurous whenever I’m out or abroad.


If you weren’t doing this what else would you be doing?

I would probably be travelling the world.


What’s your favourite read?

I love Michelle Obama’s recent book Becoming as I love reading about the challenges she faced and how she overcame them to get to where she did.


Where would you like to retire?

Near to a beach so I could hear the sea (preferably somewhere hot).


Who would you love to come and join your team?

Stelios – shame I could never afford him!


What item will you not leave for work without?

My phone because that’s how I primarily run the business. My catering clogs are also my saving grace (if you know, you know).


What do you do in your spare time?

I go to the gym and I love hill walking. Staying in Scotland we have beautiful sights around us. If I have time off I love to travel.


If there was one thing that would make running a small business easier, what would it be?

I wish there was more help available. I found that being new to all aspects of running the business it was a struggle to get into the swing of doing things. I found that as a society, the days of picking up the phone to get help have gone. I’ve been met with filling out forms in emails. I do think it’s a sign of the times but it made it slightly trickier when working out my way of doing things.


What’s your top tip for young people starting out in business?

Make sure you find something you enjoy doing. Running a business isn’t easy and it can be trying. I find even when I’ve been stressed or unsure, nothing makes me happier than getting in the shop and frying the best fish and chips I can. I would also say do your research, don’t jump at the first offer you get and make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing for the next 20 odd years because if you don’t enjoy what you do, staff and customers will sense that. Run your ideas by someone but don’t let them bring your confidence down. You know your dreams and capabilities more than anyone. And remember, anything is possible.


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