A LOCAL family has stepped in to keep an Ammanford community asset running.

The Crisp N Fry chip shop on Wind Street had been part of Ammanford for a number of decades and was a place with fond memories for many over the years, but it was due to close down.

Alix Kingsman told the South Wales Guardian: “My mum Karen James left her job to care for her elderly mother-in-law and picked up some part time hours at the local chip shop. My sister also worked there part time whilst studying at university to become a nurse.”

Karen had been a former care home manager and when her mother-in-law died, she turned her hand to working full time at the chip shop.

“The support she received from the customers really helped not only herself but also her wife with the loss of a loved one,” said Alix.

“When they were told the chip shop was shutting down, they were gutted and so was the community. Like many, we had fond memories as kids coming to the chip shop and was considered the heart of the town.”

The family came together to buy Crisp N Fry in late 2023 and continued employing the original staff members, who were able to have the security of knowing their jobs were safe, and also took on some more of their family as staff.

“We knew as a family we wanted to take the shop back to the community and create a safe space for all to come,” said Alix.

“We see elderly people come in regularly to have lunch or just a cup of tea, a chat and end up making friends. We quite often have people come in with their carers as they feel safe and with most of the family working in the care system, they are able to help support their needs.”

Since taking over, the family have also ensured that as well as having the shop be a safe space, they are also supporting the community in other ways including bringing back the breakfast, which has been requested by many in the area, and supporting charities.

They have donated money from carrier bag sales to a local children’s hospice, donated sacks of potatoes to the local food bank and did a 12 days of Christmas drive where they donated 12 boxes of fish and chops to people that would benefit after getting in touch with the local council and social services. “We ended up donating more than planned as we realised how much need there was for this.”

There are also plans to expand further on the community support front by increasing the 12 days of Christmas scheme and bringing customers on board with a ‘pay it forward’ scheme where customers can buy a meal or a portion of chips which will be created into a voucher and either donated to the food bank or to families or elderly people who are set to benefit most and have a number of ideas in the pipeline for the future.

Alix said the support has been great, not only from the customers, but also the original owners Edith and Will who ran the shop many years ago.

Crisp N Fry is now open on Wind Street, Ammanford. For more information, visit Crisp N Fry Ammanford on Facebook or Instagram.