BIM, the Seafood Development Agency today (Monday 25th November 2013) announced that the 2014 Young Fishmonger of the Year as James Kirwan of East Coast Seafood in Naas, Co. Kildare. James was selected as the overall winner from a shortlist of five finalists, all of whom exhibited a dynamic and innovative approach to seafood retailing, coupled with an outstanding knowledge of seafood. Senator Feargal Quinn was the guest speaker at today’s event in Dublin, where he congratulated all the finalists, commending their passion for the business.
This is the inaugural Young Fishmonger of the Year Awards, created by BIM to recognise and reward young fishmongers. Speaking at the Awards Ceremony today, Jason Whooley, CEO of BIM said, ‘This initiative is part of BIM’s ongoing commitment to attracting and supporting young people in the seafood sector. Young entrants to the industry are crucial to its ongoing development. Today’s finalists bring together some of Irelands most competent, knowledgeable and progressive young fishmongers’.
He continued by saying, ‘BIM was delighted with the calibre of entries which paint a bright future for the seafood retailing sector. Throughout all stages of the competition, the judges consistently said how impressed they were at the overall knowledge, skills and commitment demonstrated by all the finalists. We look forward to running the competition again in the years to come and encourage all young talented Fishmongers out there to give it a shot!’
As overall winner of the competition James Kirwan will be offered a study trip to France, a placement in a top seafood restaurant kitchen and free attendance at BIM’s retail development workshops. Along with a specially designed trophy, James will also receive a business development package to assist with the future development of his outlet.
The four finalists were also presented with a trophy and a business development package by Senator Feargal Quinn on behalf of BIM.
The competition judges focused on each of the applicant’s technical skills, their product knowledge, business planning and their overall customer service. The applicants underwent three different stages of scoring, including two unannounced shop visits where they were put through their paces by judges seeking to assess their technical and customer service skills. Each finalist also had to undergo a skills assessment, where they were asked to perform a variety of technical tasks within a 30 minute timeframe. Finalists were also required to discuss their plans, opportunities and challenges for their business and outline how they would use the business development package.
The five finalists excelled at all stages of the process.
The other finalists for BIM’s 2014 Young Fishmonger of the Year are:
- John Feeney, Galway Bay Seafoods, New Docks Galway
- Graham Rogerson, George’s Fish Shop, Monkstown Farm, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
- George Stephens Jnr, Stephens Fish Market, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath & Maynooth, Co. Kildare
- Arnaud Lepricey, Wrights of Howth, 14 West Pier, Howth, Dublin 13
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