Independent Fresh Fish Retailer of the Year

This award recognises local UK or Irish fresh fish retailers who have shown continued support for the commercial fishing industry in their community, trading from a shop, market stall or travelling van in 2018. Nominees will demonstrate a focus on supporting locally-landed fish, with a good range of species on offer, encouraging consumers to experience some varieties that are more usually exported, and others which deserve to be more popular. Please note this category is not open to national supermarket chains.

Shortlist

Fish on the Quay, Exmouth

Fish on the Quay proprietor Simon Ridler is a fishmonger with an in-depth knowledge of products and preparation. He is ready to offer advice on the provenance of all the fish he sells, and has a genuine concern for the environment and sustainability. He uses local fishermen wherever possible, and supplies a wide range of fish and shellfish, as well as cooking crabs and lobsters regularly. As a former chef, Simon can always suggest cooking ideas, and also offers a range of prepared dishes including fish pie and chowders. Excellent customer service is combined with a consistently good product.

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Mermaid Seafoods, Llandudno

Family-run Mermaid Seafoods is the only independent fishmonger regionally, and is described as an absolute jewel in Llandudno’s crown. It supplies the hospitality and restaurant sector in North Wales, and recently opened a new retail shop. Mermaid supports the local fishing industry and frequently buys direct from local Welsh fishermen. This results in the largest, and one of the best, fresh fish counters in North Wales, selling a wide range of native Welsh species and encouraging people to support fishermen by buying local. The team are helpful and go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction, and they work incredibly hard to make their business a success.

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Mersea Island Fresh Catch, Mersea Island

Fresh Catch was set up six and a half years ago on the back of a government scheme for community quota, and is run by local fishermen and the wife of one of the fishermen. Fish is sold fresh off the boats at the top of Mersea jetty, where fishermen prepare their catches to the customers’ requirements. Availability depends on what has just been landed, so customers are kept up to date via Facebook – where Fresh Catch has a following of over 2,300 – and can place orders there, or via email or phone, before coming down to the jetty to collect them.

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Peterhead Fish Company, Peterhead

Stephen Bruce set up the Peterhead Fish Company in January 2016 and delivers same-day supplies of the freshest possible fish direct from Peterhead fishmarket to customers’ doors. Stephen is extremely passionate about his job and is a great ambassador for the industry, promoting both it and the benefits of eating fresh fish. Every day, the Peterhead Fish Company uses its social media accounts to identify the boats that have provided the day’s catch, which has proved to be very popular. Customers are taking a keen interest in where their fish has come from, and this has helped to build up a large customer base in a short time.

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RX Fisheries, Hastings

RX Fisheries offers a fabulous selection of fresh, local fish and shellfish straight off the boat, and inspires customers to buy and cook more fish. The cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to go the extra mile for any customers who want something special. They know their product, and they probably know who caught your fish. They’ll tell you what is in season and good value, and take the same pride and care in meticulously preparing a small, inexpensive fish for a single person as they do when supplying chefs.

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World of Fish, Lowestoft

This is a fantastic local wet fish shop. The team are friendly, informative, and always happy and helpful. The displays are clearly identified, super-fresh and well-iced. The company makes good use of the internet, offering recipes and competitions and promoting what’s on offer and what’s in season. The staff are keen to encourage customers to try lesser-known species, and if a customer doesn’t recognise what’s on offer, the team will always take the time to tell them what it is, where it came from, and how to cook it. The company contributes a lot to the local community by raising money for local charities, and actively encourages schools to learn about the fishing industry.

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