A former mechanic has swapped oily rags for cooking oil as he serves up the nation’s favourite dish at Farington Chippy.
Adrian Oprea, 31, came to England from Romania in 2004 with his wife Andreea as part of a university course to see how agricultural advancements could be implemented in his home country.
He and his wife Andreea, 31, decided to stay in the UK and Adrian got a job working for a large agricultural contractor at a farm in Leyland.
But when work was scarce during the winter months a friend suggested he try his hand in a completely different working environment.
He says: “He has a chip shop on the other side of Leyland and he said, ‘why don’t you give it a try?
“I went to work for him for three or four weeks to learn how to do stuff like fry fish.
“I got the shop and we started in December last year.”
He says the business in Stanifield Lane, Farington, Leyland, is a traditional fish and chip shop, which also offers pies and sausages.
Adrian says: “The shop used to have a bad name, so we’re trying to build up its reputation.
“It will take time for people to spread the word around.
“It used to have three out of five stars for hygiene but now we have five.
“We’ve nearly doubled the turnover since we took it over, which is not bad for a mechanic who is now a fryer!
“It’s a big step. I’m a bit fussy and I’m trying to do my best because I want to succeed all the time.
“I’m very chatty – I like to chat to the customers and I’m improving my English!
“They are really nice people and it’s a nice community.”
Adrian’s cousin Adrian Udroiu, 27, helps out on Fridays when the shop is at its busiest.
Adrian says: “I brought him over to England to work at the farm with me, so he is used to me being his boss!
“He is a really nice lad.”
Andreea, 30, works at TKMaxx, but she also helps her husband in the shop whenever she can.
She says: “I’m juggling the two to help my husband.
“It’s been really challenging for us and it’s starting to pay off – we’re really pleased with the five stars for hygiene.
“All the food was very tempting when we started!
“When I can I go and do a bit of serving and chat to the customers.
“It’s good to work together, it does work for us because we complete each other. Adrian is more technical and I’m more chatty with customers.
“We support each other.”