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FAMILY FAVOURITES Saltwaters in Tonbridge

A FAMILY chippy is celebrating its first anniversary in the town by raising money for a local homeless charity.

Saltwaters Fish and Chip Restaurant will be donating all gratuities given by customers this month to The Bridge Trust and will double the total with their own donation.

The Osman family business moved into their High Street premises in February 2016, after spending the last 50 years in various locations throughout London.

In 1961, Mr Osman, a Turkish mathematics student took a four month trip to London. After discovering the popularity of the staple English dish he opened his first shop – also named Saltwaters – in East Ham.

By 1965, he had opened two more restaurants in East London, but by the 1980s he got married and started a family, moving into the more luxurious residence of Belgravia and Chelsea.

It was there he opened his most renowned shop, Friars Inn Fish and Chip Restaurant, just around the corner from Buckingham Palace.

His children, Oz, Kezi and Ellie were all brought up in the business

The shop climbed to fame, with stars often dropping by. Celebrities such as Roger Moore, Bob Geldof and Stevie Wonder tucked into Mr Osman’s fish and chips.

But in 2016, the family decided to move outside of London, pinpointing Tonbridge as the ideal location.

Manager, Ellie Osman, said: “Running a business in the heart of the West End is different to the suburbs. But, as a family run operation, the essence of the business is the same.”

Brother Oz is head chef and fish fryer, while sister Kezi also helps with business management. After a successful first year they are set to launch their new delivery service in March.

On the subject of the anniversary fundraising, Ms Osman said: “We wanted to give back to the community.

“The Bridge Trust do great things for those who are less fortunate. Nearly everyone we talk to is aware of them which is really encouraging.”

John Handley, CEO of The Bridge Trust, a Tonbridge-based charity who work with single homeless adults to turn their life around, said: “It’s a really great fit between us. They are a small independent local business and we are a small independent local charity.

“We are unfortunately very busy at the moment, I’d rather we ran out of business so to speak. So it is fantastic that they are supporting us, it really means a lot.”