Serve up A Grade quality to keep customers coming back!

Ben Ahearne of Bottom of the Harbour Seafood at Sydney’s famous Balmoral Beach knows the importance of serving only the best to keep his customers coming back.
Established in 1989, Bottom of the Harbour has built up a loyal customer base over the years it’s been in business. It started out as a tiny corner shop but has since expanded across the two adjacent properties to become an iconic part of the Balmoral beachside scene.
Ben attributes this success to the business’ mission statement, which is proudly displayed out front of the shop:
“Since our inception in 1989 we’ve remained true to our original philosophy: we only buy the freshest fish and crustaceans, all of which are sourced from sustainable fisheries. Our tuna is line caught, our salmon organically reared, our scallops are landed by divers, and all are selected daily by our expert buyer from Sydney Fish Markets. We are driven by our common goal of simply serving the freshest fish prepared to your specifications and cooked to perfection.”
Bottom of the Harbour boasts a huge amount of takeaway trade, offering fresh barramundi, snapper, rainbow trout, flathead and silver dory, prawns, scallops and a large selection of salads. It attracts a strong clientele that’s a mixture of regulars and the tourists drawn to one of Sydney’s most popular beaches – and Ben says the key to its success is the committment to A Grade quality at all times.
So it’s no surprise that for the past 22 years, Bottom of the Harbour has chosen McCain A Grade Fries to serve with its seafood.
“For the first year of operation, we made our own hot chips, but quickly found that was too labour and time-intensive,” Ben explains. “So the decision was made to go with McCain A Grade Fries.
“They’re a superior product – they stay crispy on the outside with a nice soft centre inside, and have plenty of flavour, with good texture and mouthfeel.
“We use McCain A Grade Fast Fries and they’re terrific because they cook quickly, which is important when you’re using large volumes – we run eight fry baskets at a time so we go through a lot!”
Ben adds that unlike inferior Grade fries, McCain A Grade Fries offer year-round consistent quality. “With some of the other fries there’s a lot of variation in colour and texture depending on seasonality – but McCain A Grade Fries present consistently all year round,” he says.
“And one of the most important things from our point of view is that McCain A Grade Fries keep their crispiness, rather than turning soggy after a while like a lot of the other fries do. It’s one thing to have a chip that presents beautifully straight out of the fryer – but our customers will typically take the food away and walk for five to ten minutes across the beach to find somewhere to sit and eat. It’s essential that the fry retains its crispiness and presentation right up till it’s consumed.”
A Grade fries also give more serves per kilo and shorter cooking time than B Grade. And because they have lower moisture content, they absorb less cooking oil and the oil itself takes longer to break down, thereby extending its life cycle. Buying A Grade fries may cost a little more but in the long run they’re a more economical choice.
As a loyal McCain A Grade fries customer, Ben is also an enthusiastic member of the ‘My McCain Fries Advantage’ loyalty program, which rewards McCain end-users for rewarding their customers with the best quality product available.
“I’ve got a lot of points accumulated but haven’t redeemed any yet – I’m saving them up for something special,” Ben tells us.
The extensive range of products for which McCain A Grade Fries customers can redeem points includes electrical items, sporting goods, food and wine, accommodation, phones, plasma screen TVs, cameras, movie vouchers, family items, toddler’s toys, kitchen utensils and much more. Visit for more info on the program and to register.