A popular family-owned chip shop in Portadown is due to go up for sale after 40 years in business, Armagh I can reveal.
JP’s Takeaway on the Carrickblacker Road, which has been described as an institution in the town, is to be listed as a going concern, with the business and the property going up for sale.
Leslie Geary, the owner of JP’s – alongside his wife Jennifer – told Armagh I that it was finally time to “hang the scoop up” after many years of service to the town.
Recalling the history of the business, Leslie said: “The business was founded in 1982 by my brother-in-law, the actual JP himself, Joe Partridge, who sadly passed away in 2005. It was Joe’s wife and ourselves ran it all the way through but we took it over when she retired in 2010.”
On opening, Leslie says that JP’s quickly became “probably one of the most well-known chip shops in Northern Ireland”.
This August will mark the business being in the family for 41 years, but Leslie and Jennifer have decided that it was time to “call it a day and start to enjoy life”.
He said: “It’s that time in our lives where we’d need to be taking it a bit easier. We’re getting towards retirement age and it’s time for us to hang the scoop up.”
Leslie says that the chippy is definitely “something special” for a prospective buyer, given the reputation that JP’s has in the town, a reputation that Leslie and Jennifer have helped to build.
“It’s always been a family-run business, so it’s always been hands-on and we’ve always made sure that we’ve been there ourselves to make sure that it’s run right,” he said.
“Over the years we’ve been very blessed to have some brilliant staff and even the staff that are with us now are absolutely fantastic.”
Leslie also paid tribute to the people of Portadown and further afield for their support of the business over the years, noting that people even as far away as England hold the shop in high regard and make sure to call in when they visit Northern Ireland on holiday.
JP’s is also a fond reminder of home for many Portadown folk who have moved abroad, with trips back home often incomplete without a visit to their old chippy.
We have “very, very loyal customers,” he said. “Young children would have come into us with their parents and they have continued on and as they’ve grown up, they have come along with their children and each generation has continued to come to us and support us.
“It’s very much an iconic business and has been for a number of years,” Leslie added. “I’m sure it would be sorely missed, but we hope that it will keep going and continue with the good name.”
Leslie concluded: “A big thank you to our customers for their support over the years. We’re certainly going to miss our customers as it’s not just a business it’s a friendship as well.
“We’re going to miss that banter with the customers and we will not forget them. We hope that they continue to support whoever the new owners are.”