Cole boys back at the Blue
IT'S a welcome and familiar sight: Father-and-son duo John and Paul Cole are back behind the fryer at Blue Shed Fish and Chips.
Ten years after his father John helped build the iconic Roma local on the corner of Bowen and Charles streets, Paul Cole and his wife, Theresa, bought the business and took over on December 22.
After John sold the business in 2012, the Blue Shed has had two other owners in the interim.
Paul said when the opportunity came up to buy the store his dad had once owned, he couldn't say no, and brought his father back in to help him.
"I've been doing fish and chips for 20 years; I feel like it's my thing in life, it's what I'm good at,” he said.
"I had two businesses in Brisbane which didn't work out before I moved to Roma about 10 years ago. I've been working for Western Wholesalers for the past few years.
"The opportunity came up for me to come back in here and I took it. It's awesome to be back here, and for Dad to be here with me helping me out.
"We're a good team.”
Between the two, they have more than 60 years of experience with fish and chips, having worked in shops in Brisbane prior to moving to Roma.
"When I was 22 I started learning from Dad, who taught me all the ins and outs, and we're constantly learning,” Paul said.
Paul said his main goal with his shop was to sell good food at reasonable prices.
"Our motto is restaurant quality food at fish and chip shop prices.”
The menu hasn't changed much since John first opened the store, with generously sized family meals still a main attraction, as well as home-made hamburgers, house-cut potato scallops, and their latest addition, fried chicken.
"We're making it fresh every day, using local chicken that we marinate overnight, and then coating it in a 30-year-old recipe,” Paul said.
"We've not done it before so it's exciting.”
Paul said he and Theresa hoped to eventually set up a spot for coffee and cakes.
"Right now we're just happy to be back here and finding our feet again, and giving the people of Roma some really good food, fast and hot,” he said. "We just want to try and do the best we can.”