After 50 years of serving up fish and chips, the Pearsons are ready to hang up their aprons and take a break.
The Kelowna family has owned Shady Rest Fish and Chips for 50 years (and 11 months) and Mel Pearson said it’s time to “take some time off and sleep in.”
The fish and chips shop is much the same on the outside as it was back in 1967 when he, his brother and their parents bought it — with the exception of a few dozen coats of paint. And from that unchanging vantage point at Sutherland, Pearson has witnessed a lot – not the least of which was the shifting of the highway.
“Where the highway is now, used to be orchards,” he said. “We were on the main road back in 1967.”
He’s also seen people grow up and social shifts take root.
“It’s so neat how many generations came in … people who came in in ’67, ’68 and ’69 and had wee kids, now those wee kids, are bringing their wee kids,” he said.
“Back when I was growing up, we used to live near Kelowna Beach and Country club and walk to the beach. Over the years we would see all the kids walking to and from school. That changed, now parents are driving them.”
Pearson said he’s lucky to have experienced so many changes over the years and built up different relationships. Before the business changes hands, Pearson said he’d love to hear from some of the people who have come through over the years.
The new owners will take over in February and Pearson said he thinks they will keep things similar to how they’ve been done thus far.
“They are going to do fish and chips as well,” he said, adding he had two or three offers and he turned them down, because they weren’t going to do fish and chips.
The new couple, he said, are going to run it like a family business and he has high hopes for what’s to come.
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