Andrew, welcome to Extreme.
Extreme, meet Andrew!
A successful food-startup entrepreneur, Andrew launched Fryday in 2019 (a street-food style take on fish and chips, including traditional Irish smoked fish inspired by his youth in Dublin). Now Harrogate-based, he has a range of successful locations and is shortly opening a new Harrogate takeaway, with plans for several more across Yorkshire this year.
Fryday is thriving as a business on its own two feet, and is not the reason Andrew came to see us. Instead, he wanted our help in raising his personal profile; sourcing opportunities to share his story, inspire change in the workplace and make some noise about the good work that is going on behind the scenes, so others can get involved and help make a positive difference.
Andrew is very open about his own struggles in the past. Only a couple of years ago he was at rock bottom, out of work and facing a court battle with a former employer over a breach of contract which depleted his funds and his mental reserves. He ended up serving a 35 day sentence in prison for Contempt of Court and having never been in trouble with the law before, this was his lowest point. It was in prison he had the idea for Fryday and within six weeks of returning home, the brand was born.
A force for good, Andrew and his team are currently working with food banks and community groups to run ‘Community Chips’ where they give meals to the vulnerable or those in need. They also allow people to ‘pay it forward,’ prepaying for a meal for another person or family. Some targeted PR and social media consultancy will allow us to help Andrew share these inspiring stories, connecting people with the brand and encouraging others to get involved.
An ambassador for the family mental health charity, Northorpe Hall, Andrew also wants to start opening up the conversations about how employers can do more to support workers, and is committed to supporting young people in particular, providing stable, fairly paid jobs. All of his employees have access to the same level of employee benefits including mental health support. We’re looking into potential partnerships for Andrew to work with groups and organisations to educate and encourage them on the role an employer should play in their staffs’ wellbeing.
During this three month project, we’re looking into speaking opportunities at a number of universities with business students, giving Andrew a platform to share his experience of setting up and running a successful business, as well as raising awareness of the importance of mental health support. So whether the students are looking to start their own businesses, or enter the world of work with established companies, they understand the importance of mental health support in the workplace.
Andrew is very keen to focus on how one person's struggles do not have to define them and turning his experience into something to help others. That was a message we, here at Extreme, just had to help spread. We look forward to seeing what other opportunities unfold in our time working together on the project. In the meantime, we can’t wait to try his legendary fish and chips once the Harrogate store opens!
Watch this space!