IF there's one thing the Greeks know about more than most, it's food.
So it's not surprising that a Greek family-run institution in Ballarat has this week celebrated a major milestone with the Arch Fish and Chip shop bringing up its 50th birthday of being run by the Grinos Family.
Tom and Niki Grinos took over the running of the shop in September 1971.
Five years later, they were joined by Uncle George and Aunt Olga who came out for a holiday and decided they loved Ballarat so much, they stayed.
Tom passed away three years ago, but Niki, George, Olga and their extended families remain firmly entrenched in Ballarat life as some of the most well-known, loved and respected members of the community.
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Tom and Niki's son Andrew, who himself has worked at the shop since he was 15, said the Arch started as a place for truck drivers to refuel on their way to and from Adelaide.
"The highway used to go through Sturt Street and the Arch was pretty much the last stop to Adelaide," he said.
"We'd sell everything, from cigarettes to chocolate, we were basically a milk bar.
"We had the truckers bench and the meal was always the steak on a plate. Even today I'm standing here, and it's still on our menu. They'd all come in here, grab their stuff and then pretty much be on their way non-stop to Adelaide."
The Arch Fish Shop has been at its Alfredton base of 1605A Sturt Street since the very start.
Mr Grinos said when the Ballarat bypass went through, there was a small period when business dropped off, but that soon changed when residents returned to Sturt Street.
"Because all the trucks used to go through, Ballarat people didn't like to use Sturt Street, but once they were gone, everyone started to use it," he said.
"That was really when we became the fish and chip shop as you know it today."
Mr Grinos said there was no way any business could succeed for as long as the Arch without the support of loyal customers and suppliers who were always there for each other.
"There's (Delacombe-based) Conapak Produce, who I've been dealing with for 31 years," he said.
"I could ring him up on a Sunday and say I'm out of something and he'd be able to source it.
"Then you've got the maintenance people - if a fridge breaks down, they're there to fix things no matter what.
"I've got the easy part, I just have to open the shop up - they are the ones who have been the most important along the way.
"Then there's our staff, we have had the most wonderful and loyal staff over the years, we have truly been blessed by who have come through and worked here. We wouldn't have been able to achieve what we have without them.
"And our customers. The loyalty that so many people have showed us over so many years has been just phenomenal."
Mr Grinos said the past 18 months had been a challenge. Despite the shop being allowed to be open, customers unsure about what movements were permitted have meant at times it had been quieter.
"We're unable to do deliveries, so particularly in the first stages of lockdowns people have been a bit more hesitant to come in," he said. "But what we've noticed is once you get to about day 12, people are starting to get active again, but it has been challenging at times."
Mr Grinos said his only regret was that his father Tom wasn't around to see the milestone.
"It would have meant the world to us to have him here," he said. "He was such a proud man, but he would never have showed it, but I know he'll be looking down on us proud as punch."
Who's to say there won't be at least another 50 years ahead?