THE owner of a Saltcoats fish and chip shop said it was "the best feeling in the world" to be hailed as the best in Scotland.

Josephine Donald spoke to the Herald after the Eglinton Diner was named the nation's best fish and chip shop at the 2022 Scottish Business Awards.

The diner, on Eglinton Street in the town, had previously won the award for the best in Ayrshire at the regional version of the awards, before coming up against fellow victors from across other counties.

Josephine said they had no idea what to expect going into the grand final, held at the Doubletree Hilton in Glasgow, but that only made the award win even sweeter.

She said: "When we arrived at the national awards we were unsure how many finalists were in our category, so it was nail biting as the regional winners were being read out.

"When it was announced we had won the grand final it was the best feeling in the world!

"The old saying hard work pays off is so true!"

The award was the culmination of 30 years of hard graft in the industry for Josephine, who started out on the fryers in chip shops before being the Eglinton Diner over four years ago.

Using all of her knowledge from over the years, Josephine says that the Eglinton works tremendously hard to set themselves apart and provide the best possible experience for their customers.

She added: "We all work as part of a team at the shop and we have a 'fresh is best' policy for the food we produce.

"Our shop cleanliness is second to none and the staff are trained to deliver the best customer service - with a smile!

"A big part of the awards is mystery shoppers, which adds to the enormity of winning such an award.

"We have had a great response from customers and hope to be running some special offers soon to thank them for their support.

"I bought the shop four and a half years ago and have put everything I have into making it how good it is today so to win this award means the world to me."

Josephine also set about thanking those who make winning awards like this possible.

She said: "I would like to thank the Fryers, Ashley Donald, Jenna Wishart and Grady Purchon, and all the staff for all their hard work in such a fast paced working environment."

The Eglinton Diner was closed for a brief period following the award win, as essential maintenance work took place on thier premises.

They re-opened on Monday, November 21, with additional baby changing facilities in their toilets, and new shop sign "adding a nice bit of light to Windmill Street".

And Josephine will begin toshow her appreciation to customers soon with bumper deals to be offered in the Eglinton Diner.

This begins on Sunday, November 27, with kids meals reduced from £3.20 to £2 for the duration of the Saltcoats Christmas Lights Carnival event.