JJ’s Vish and Chips was said the first vegan fish and chip shop, not just in Leeds, but in the whole of the north, when it opened its doors three years ago.
At the time, it was greeted with huge enthusiasm – especially by the city’s growing vegan foodie scene, who revelled at the chance to tuck into their wholesome Friday favourites without any of the guilt.
Serving ‘fish’ made from banana plants, nori-wrapped tofu, battered pickles and svam fitters, it soon became a hit – so much so that its owner, Jess Jones, expanded across the Pennines to Manchester last year.
However, now she’s been forced to make the sad decision to close up shop – citing rising costs across the board, and changing customer ordering habits due to the cost of living emergency.
The Manchester site has already closed, and the Leeds site will shut its doors this Saturday 9 July. after one final service this Friday.
Sharing the news to social media on Thursday, owner Jess Jones wrote: “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close our doors.’
Citing ‘numerous factors’ including ‘massive delivery platform fees, rising costs of oil, utilities, fuel, stock and more’, she said that it had ‘not been an easy decision’ to close but she felt that it was ‘a necessary one’.
Saying that she didn’t want to ‘keep increasing […] prices beyond what we believe is reasonable’, she also pointed to the impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, which she said had ‘understandably changed customers’ ordering habits.’
The takeaway gained something of a cult following amongst vegan foodies, with people quick to celebrate how it filled the gap in the market for a vegan chippy.
However, now it seems it may be the end of the road for JJ’s – although its owner remains optimistic that she could reopen the business in the future.
The post continued: “We have enjoyed serving the people of Leeds for just over three years and Manchester for a year and a half. It has been a rollercoaster of a journey with many things thrown at us as a new independent business.
“But it has also been an incredible journey too thanks to the loyalty and kindness of our amazing customers.
“I personally want to thank my family and friends who supported me with my somewhat mad idea at the beginning of 2019 and continued to do so throughout.
“A massive thanks goes to every single member of staff that has worked at JJs. I couldn’t have done it without you!”
Fans were quick to comment their heartbreak at the chippies closure, with one person writing: “Sorry to hear Jess was the best chippy in Leeds”
Another said: “So sorry to hear this! Your cheesy bean balls are the best! Great food and staff you will be back”
A third commented: “so so sad!!!!!! the Best vegan fish&chips ever!!!”
Feature image – JJ’s Vish and Chips