Perhaps you’ve watched the rippling lines stretch out behind your paddle board on an early morning on Saguaro Lake or the Salt River. Or maybe you studied such a trail behind your raft along the mighty Colorado River as it winds through our beautiful state. Whatever you were skippering at the time, imagine your craft’s effect on the water, leaving a seemingly endless trail behind you.
Likewise, Peter Grant, Jr., founder of Pete’s Fish & Chips, left a legacy of a family owned and operated business for 72 years running. When Grant was killed in 1987 at his Phoenix apartment, his family trimmed the sails and kept on going. He may be gone, but his presence lives on. This spring, Grant’s business matched its life in years to that of its first entrepreneurial captain. And for this local Valley business, it is ship shape and Bristol fashion.
Sitting at one of their 8 stores you might just hear your neighbor reminiscing about when they ate at Pete’s as a kid. After all, Kathy Adams, one of Grant’s four daughters, points out, “Pete’s is serving fifth-generation customers now.”
When the World War II Navy veteran moved with his wife to Arizona from Indiana for health reasons in the late 1940s, Grant poured all the money he had into a dream he’d had since seeing the thriving fish and chip stores during the war in Europe. On the first day he knew the wind was right when he made twelve dollars selling $.35 fish and chips from a little shack. Within the first year, Grant opened three stores. Over the following four decades, he opened more.
Winston Churchill called fish and chips the “good companions.” Arizona’s local chippie, Pete’s Fish & Chips serves up flaky white fish in crisp golden batter with hot french fries in the Valley. With an award-winning menu, Pete’s offers economical, no-nonsense deliciousness. Since the first store served its first plate, Kathy explains, “our business motto is to sell three things: price, quality and service.”
Aside from fish and chips, customers order Pete’s crabette, shrimp or scallop plates—and don’t forget their monster burgers and deep-fried burritos. Order anything “messy” and they’ll top it with coleslaw.
Pete’s Fish & Chips locations are scattered across the Valley. Kathy and Pat run the business with the help of their managers. All locations are closed on Sunday, excepting Phoenix’s Van Buren location.
“We are a small business—it’s just us and our managers,” Kathy explains. Most of the managers are family. If they aren’t, they might as well be. Some have worked for Pete’s since they were teenagers. One manager at Pete’s is a third-generation manager. Kathy’s grandchildren are working there: “The roots run deep. One of the reasons we are so successful is, Pete’s is a family-run business.”
For more delicious information on Pete’s Fish & Chips, visit www.petesfishandchips.com