Philip Fitzsimons, Fitzsimons Family Fish Shop, Kimmage Road West, Crumlin Cross, Dublin
Philip has worked in the fish shop since he was 13 years old. Fitzsimons are a well-known family seafood business for many years and his father taught him how to fillet and store fish and educated him on the handling of fresh and frozen seafood. Philip’s knowledge of seafood is second to none and his passion for the business is clear to see. From working in the successful retail store in Crumlin, Philip is excited to open his own store in Dun Laoghaire in the next few months. Taking over the well-known Lamb’s Butchers store on the main street. Philip is redesigning the shop and will be offering the recognised and trusted Fitzsimons brand to local customers. Philip feels it is important to keep growing as their shop in Crumlin is now well established after 20 years.
According to Philip, the seafood business is in a good place and with more people considering their health it will continue to grow in the coming years. The main challenge, as he sees it, will be to offer this new surge of people trying to bring more seafood into their diet, a good retail experience, try to make them feel comfortable buying fresh fish once or twice a week and make it as easy for them to store and cook at home.
Peter Roberts, Roberts of Dalkey
Peter grew up living by the sea in the village of Dalkey in South County Dublin. In early 2010, as a regular consumer of seafood Peter noticed a gap within his own immediate local area. Having spent 5 years working within the family business,-he felt he had enough experience to branch out on his own and now at only 29 years of age he is a finalist in the BIM Young Fishmonger competition!
Having no prior knowledge of the seafood industry, Peter contacted BIM and the agency introduced him to well-known and experienced fishmonger Martin McLoughlin of Nicky’s Plaice in Howth. Peter invested 2 days a week for a year in Nicky’s Plaice learning the trade.
It was time spent at Nicky’s Plaice that allowed Peter to gain the confidence and skillset required to go on and open his own seafood retail shop in Dalkey in November 2011. Roberts of Dalkey quickly developed a positive name for itself in Dalkey and the surrounding areas.
During 2012, Roberts of Dalkey established a concession store in The Delgany Grocer in June 2012. Late in 2014, Roberts of Dalkey opened a concession seafood counter in Avoca Kilmacanogue. November 2015 saw the opening of our 4th seafood counter at Fresh Avenue, Ballinteer. .
All our seafood is served pin boned and expertly prepared to the demands of each individual customer's request. Skinned, scaled or diced. There is a value added offering at each counter, oven bags, tray sealed or simply offered in an odour/leak free bag.
Peter’s drive continues with plans in place to develop a range of luxury seafood products across the 4 retail locations in addition to online sales through the Roberts of Dalkey website
Stephen Hurley, The Fish Shop, Glenmar Shellfish Ltd., Main St, Union Hall, Co Cork
Stephen has worked at Glenmar Shellfish/The Fish Shop for the past 10 years. Stephen lives overlooking Union Hall pier in West Cork . As a young boy he would always be found on the pier, taking an interest in the boats and he would be thrilled to see fresh prawns and plaice jumping in the boxes as the fishermen landed their daily catches. Stephen advanced his interest as a teenager by becoming a crew man on a shrimp boat hauling shrimp pots every morning with his neighbour, so early morning starts began for him at a young age Stephen prides himself on stocking locally caught fish and shellfish in store. On any given day he has upwards of 25 different species of fish and shellfish. One of the most popular species is White Sole or Megrim which he is introducing more and more to customers as it a less well known fish even though it is available in abundance.
In addition to his sporting prowess with Castlehaven football team, Stephen is a volunteer crew member of the recently formed Union Hall Lifeboat Station and trained at the RNLI training College in Poole in Dorset UK.
Stephen gets a buzz out of selling the best seafood to appreciative customers who reciprocate by returning for more. Stephen is in a unique position as he is on first name terms with the skippers and crews. He can tell a customer exactly where their fish was caught and by who.
The Fish Shop has recently made tentative steps into on-line sales and are currently experimenting with rolling out this in our Dublin Depot.
Anne Stephens, The Fish Market, Glenroyal Shopping Centre, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Anne is Manager of the Fish Market, Maynooth. The Fish Market also has retail outlets in Mullingar and Blanchardstown and this is the third year running the company has achieved the finals of the Young Fishmonger competition with their Manager in Mullingar making the finals in 2015 and the Managing Director and Anne’s husband from their shop in Blanchardstown , George Stephens, the current 2016 Young Fishmonger of the Year!
Annehas been involved in seafood retail for eight years. She thoroughly enjoys it and is always looking to learn new skills about the business. Anne has added a range of value added products to the shop in the past year, which she saw in Holland on a recent study trip with BIM. Anne has a particular interest in this area and has created her own signature products. ‘I have a great range of valued customers from old to young and I feel I can now reach a wider client base as people are busy and appreciate the convenience range’ Included in this range are Anne’s new gluten free fishcakes, pies and marinades.
Anne hasa great passion for her job and really wants to help people to love fish and understand its qualities and how easy it is to work with (cook, prepare). ‘I have 2 young kids and I understand the pressures of juggling work and home life and ensuring your children are eating healthy food’
Anne’s innovative value added products has seen profits in the store increasing by 15%. The customers all love Anne as she goes above and beyond for them.
Katarina Curmova, Dunnes Stores, Longford
Katarina is originally from Slovakia and living in Ireland for the last 7 years. She joined Dunnes Stores 3 years ago and this was her first experience working for a large food retailer. Katarina thoroughly enjoys working in the Fish Department as she gets to express her artistic side through her counter displays and she also helps a lot of customers with their seafood choices.
In Dunnes Stores Longford, they carry up to 35 lines on their counter each week. The range varies depending on the day and on availability. Supplied by Morgan's Fine Foods from Omeath, Co. Louth, the store receives fresh fish daily and Katarina has regular customers who select from the counter on a weekly basis and some who would buy several days each week.
Katarina believes the counter presentation is very important to drive sales. ‘A well displayed counter will attract customers as it is a well-known fact that we eat with our eyes’
Alona Dutchak , Dunnes Stores, Childers Road, Limerick
Alona has worked on the seafood counter in Dunnes Stores Limerick for the past 9 years. The daughter of a fisherman in her native Latvia, she learnt a great deal about seafood from a young age.
Some customers come in for a specific type of seafood, however if the species is not available, Alona always offers them a similar product. Alona encourages her customers to ‘buy it and try it’
Alona is passionate about healthy eating and explains the benefits of fish oils to her customers and how to cook seafood to retain the maximum nutrition from the fish.
Alona is hardworking with excellent customer service skills and seafood knowledge.
Seafood sales in Dunnes Stores Childers road have grown significantly in recent years and the company plan to double the size of the seafood counter to meet customer demand this year.
Anthony Murray, Dunnes Stores, Terryland, Galway
Anthony is originally from Co. Mayo and living in Galway for the past 17 years. Living on the west coast of Ireland, he has had a keen interest in fishing for most of his life. Anthony has extensive experience of the seafood sector having worked on fishing boats and for fish processors in Mayo.
Anthony moved to Galway to study culinary arts in GMIT and worked in many restaurants around the city. For the past 10 years, he has worked on the seafood counter in Dunnes Stores Terryland.
The store stocks a wide range of fish on the seafood counter from old favourites which their regular customers love including mackerel, whiting, salmon, cod and hake to more adventurous fish such as monkfish, tuna and swordfish to name just a few. ‘We get an older age group of customers in store so they tend to go for the old favourites but I try and encourage them to try different types of fish’
Anthony is very customer driven and will offer to prepare fish to suit the needs of the customers including skinning, gutting, filleting, preparing fish for customers and giving tips on cooking and advising on suitable wine choices to complement their choice.
Eimantas Zvirblis, Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Co. Dublin
Eimantas’ passion in life is fish! He developed this passion and realised he had a skill in this area working for the Dublin Smoked Fish company in 2010. Eimantas also previously worked in Nicky’s Plaice in Howth, where he developed his customer service skills. Many customers where he works now in Donnybrook Fair, Malahide recognize him from his time in Nicky’s Plaice.
Eimantas works in Donnybrook Fair’s flagship store in Malahide and opened last Christmas. The store has a large range of seafood on its counter including whole fish, fillets, shellfish, smoked fish, marinade fish, and ready to cook fish.
The customer base in Donnybrook Fair is very discerning, and expects high quality produce in all departments. They also have come to expect high levels of customer service. The Malahide store has already build up a good reputation for quality fish and they have created a loyal customer base. Eimantas even has one loyal customer who travels from Donnybrook to buy whole salmon from Eimantas!
Eimanatas particularly enjoys sharing fish recipes with his customers. “It gives me great pride when people come to the store specifically to see me”
Eimantas believes in his product and eats fish seven days a week. ‘Many of my colleagues in Donnybrook Fair are now eating more fish and many customers are telling me that they are eating more fish too. I believe that spreading this passion is a very important part of being a fishmonger’