Restaurant owners on the UK’s ‘busiest takeaway street’ have shared their stories of life in ‘ foodie heaven’.
Moulsham Street in Chelmsford, Essex packs in an impressive array of international cuisines into the space of just a mile, from tapas to Turkish and Indian to traditional English pub meals.
According to EssexLive, no fewer than 26 eateries can be found on the busy inner-city stretch, with the vast majority of these being family-owned or independently run.
Only a single chain, a small Subway outlet, was included on this list. German Doner Kebab recently opened its 105th UK restaurant on the road, creating 40 new jobs.
One of the oldest institutions to be found on Moulsham Street is fish and chip shop Robinsons, who have been in the foodie hotspot for more than 120 years.
In more recent times they have expanded their menu well beyond the usual fare, including burgers, salads, ribs, sandwiches, chicken and frozen food.
Paul Robinson, the current owner of Robinsons, admitted he was puzzled by the lack of big chains — but had his own theory for why this was.
He told EssexLive: ” I do find it strange that there aren’t so many branded or chain restaurants”
“The rules here mean you can’t be higher than the signage, so that probably rules a lot of places like Greggs or McDonalds out of that.
“We’ve got Tesco here who do sandwiches and meal deals, but I don’t think they would get the volume they demand if they were placed down Moulsham Street.”
F.Cooke meanwhile has been serving pie and mash since it was first established in 1862 in London, and set up in Chelmsford in 2020. It continues to be a family-run business to this day, with fifth generation Robert Cooke now in charge.
Their entrance to Mousham Street two years ago came at an incredibly unfortunate time however, with the first national lockdown announced just two days after they opened.
Despite the setback they have managed to build up a loyal base of pie and mash lovers in the town, and Robert’s partner and co-owner Jordan Lassman reckons their location has helped.
She said: “We have had a great reception since opening here. We have a lot of customers who have been to our shops in London or other areas, but here on Moulsham Street there are a lot of residential areas nearby so we have some loyal customers here too.
Jordan also praised how the road is a “great community to be a part of” thanks to the high presence of family-run shops.
Along with Robert’s partner she regularly donates pies to the homeless charity CHESS, and provides support to local schools.