A MUCH-loved fish and chip shop owner is saying arrivederci to his popular premises after 30 years - and launching a brand-new venture.

Marco Demelas, who opened Orangefield Chip Shop in Greenock three decades ago, is moving down the street to go into business with his brother Gianni.

The businessman has been working in the local fish and chip shop industry for 35 years and says he is now ready to begin a new chapter.

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Marco hopes his loyal customers will continue to support him in his latest venture and has thanked everyone who has helped him over the years.

Greenock Telegraph: A much-loved fish and chip shop owner is saying goodbye to his popular premises after 30 years and

He said: “The highlight has been serving the customers, that’s where I get my joy from.

“Some people might not like the long hours but that’s what I do and I enjoy it.

“I’ve got to know so many people from the community and I’ve seen them grow and develop.

“There are people I started out serving as children and now they’re adults with jobs and families and they’re bringing their children in here, it’s a lovely thing.

“I have elderly customers as well who I knew when their children were growing up and now their kids have left and I get to talk to them in here about how they’re getting on.

“We’re very personal with the customers, everyone knows my name which I like, they all come in and ask ‘Marco, can you do this for me?’.

“Everyone knows me wherever I go, which is nice, we’ve even been on holidays to Spain and Sardinia where I’ve met customers.

“We’re just moving down the road to Gianni’s, just across from the West Station Café, so hopefully I will still see them all.”

Despite numerous challenges, the chippy’s popularity has never waned with locals and Marco says he frequently had customers who moved away from Greenock coming back to get a takeaway from his shop.

Greenock Telegraph: A much-loved fish and chip shop owner is saying goodbye to his popular premises after 30 years and

He added: “A lot of customers still come from all over, there are people who come in from Wemyss Bay, Inverkip, Port Glasgow and beyond.

“There are even people who have come from America, Canada and even Australia.

“When I first took over here, the shop was closed for a long time and I had to build the business from scratch, which was a challenge.

“But as the years went by the business got stronger and stronger, my wife Janine and I had a family and they all worked here.

“Our four children have all got degrees now and I’m so proud of them.

“Recently we’ve had some huge challenges with the pandemic and the energy crisis, but we survived every one of them.

“I fought and I survived and I’m very proud to say that.”

Marco told the Tele that he would miss working at the shop, but added that he would have many fond memories to look back on.

He said: “This has been my life for the last 30 years and everything I’ve built has started here.

“It’s been a real family business with the kids and Janine working here, which has been special.

“Not many businesses can say they made it to 30 years in the same place while having such a great community. It’s become an establishment here.

“It’s the end of an era but the start of something new for me.

“I’m not getting any younger and so Gianni and I are going to work together now, and with our experience it makes sense.

“My life has been here, it’s meant everything to me.

“I don’t think I’ve had any negativity at all, we’ve had our challenges, but we’ve worked hard to overcome them."