Rico’s retirement finalises four-decade career serving fish and chips in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:01 02 January 2018

Rico Nardone retires from his Littleham fish and chip shop. Ref exe 01 18TI 5956. Picture: Terry Ife

Rico Nardone retires from his Littleham fish and chip shop. Ref exe 01 18TI 5956. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

“I am sad and I am excited. Sad to say goodbye to my baby, but on the flip-side I have got a life outside waiting for me to explore,” says Rico Nardone, who recently retired after serving fish and chips from his Littleham takeaway for more then 40 years.

A popular Exmouth fish and chip shop owner’s recent retirement has finished four decades of frying for the town’s hungry hordes.

Rico Nardone, who opened Littleham fish and chip shop with his family on his 19th birthday, in May 1977, recently fried his way through his final fish and chip Friday.

And with word spreading that December 22 was Rico’s last shift, his loyal locals did not let the date pass by without a special send-off.

He said: “It was an amazing evening – I was blown away. I couldn’t tell you the amount of people who came to see me.”

As usual Rico was in the kitchen frying fish to golden perfection, but he also found time to come out and greet his well-wishers, including family members and ex-staff.

Even as the evening’s trading drew to a close, a sizeable group of people remained in the shop.

They counted down from 10 as the time approached 9pm, before erupting into ‘a nice big cheer’ for Rico, a moment which he described as ‘emotional’.

Rico’s retirement has marked the end of an era for his family, who have been in the fish and chip business for decades. His parents ran a chip shop in Ireland in the 1950s, before later taking one over in Exmouth in the 1960s.

And letting go of the business he ran initially with his parents, and then single-handedly for 20 years, has sparked mixed feelings.

He said: “I loved my chip shop. I wouldn’t have swapped it for any other chip shop in town. There might be one or two better ones financially, but I wouldn’t have changed it.

“I will miss the banter with customers. They are not just customers, but have become friends – I am going to miss that because I won’t see as much of them.”

But Rico hopes that retirement will mean he can finally enjoy some of the things a seven-day, split-shift working week would not allow.

He said: “The first thing I want to do is book myself a holiday.

“I am sad and I am excited. Sad to say goodbye to my baby, but on the flip-side I have got a life outside waiting for me to explore.”

As for the shop itself, Rico said it has been placed in ‘good hands’, with new local owners experienced in the hospitality business. And with plans to reopen the takeaway as soon as possible, those missing their fix of fried fish should not have too long to wait.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

Head nurse and practice manager at East Devon’s Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery is taking on a 15,000 foot skydive, in which she will freefall for around two miles, to help abandoned and unwanted dogs find their new forever homes.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:55

A trio of fundraising events have been announced for this year in the build-up to 2019’s Budleigh Salterton Food and Drink Festival.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Don’t miss this week’s gallery of readers’ photos.

Join in at iwitness24.co.uk and send us your East Devon pictures.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Curator Neville Evans explained that many botanical gardens were closing and giving away their collections due to funding issues – despite their conservational value. He added that Bicton’s 300 year-old landscape was ‘pretty special’, with ‘plants here that you will never see anywhere else’.

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Guest of honour Conrad Humphreys said: “I very much enjoyed the Exeter College awards evening and celebrating the success of the students.

“As a former student and rugby player at the college - I have very fond memories of my time there before heading off to sail around the world in the 1993/4 Whitbread.”

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Devon quiz is back for another round!

Read more
Friday, January 19, 2018

Exmouth Town Council will be temporarily closed from January 29-30 while office equipment and phones are moved to its new home.

Read more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Artist Anna Fitzgerald, of Seadog Gallery, in Gussiford Lane, Exmouth, is calling for a bra army of support; she needs 4,000 over-shoulder-boulder-holder donations for the display, which will celebrate the suffragette movement and women winning the right to vote.

Read more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

“We are going to find it very hard to balance our books without changing things significantly. We need teachers, but all the other things schools do – all the things that are not our statutory responsibility – we are looking at cutting. We are talking about the life chances of children being damaged,” said Exmouth’s Exeter Road head teacher Paul Gosling.

Read more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

There’s good news for Exmouth’s Famous Old Barrel pub, which has been closed since last October.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications