Bryher-based business Island Fish has opened its brand new premises at Bar.
After nearly 18 months in the planning and build, the purpose-built workspace is open six days a week from today.
Utilising an existing site, the new premises offers the business practical work space in which to grow and expand. Consisting of a raw fish processing room, shellfish cooking room, kitchen, retail space, office and a restroom, the 10mx10m timber-framed building, which is designed to look like a residential property, is one of the few purpose-built food processing units on the islands.
Explaining the rationale behind the building, Amanda Pender, Director of Island Fish, said: "We literally had no choice but to build bigger premises in which to work. Until this year we had worked out of my home and it simply wasn’t practical to continue to do so. When we looked at where else we could work from it quickly became apparent that there was nothing available, certainly on Bryher.
"We therefore took the decision to build from scratch. It was a decision that has tested us financially and in terms of the challenges involved in building on an off-island. The build certainly would not have been possible without financial support from the Marine Management Organisation and the incredible team of builders that worked with us."
The new building makes use of a range of different methods of processing fish and shellfish, including an industrial steamer and a machine that picks crab legs brought in from Norway.
It also allows visitors and islanders to walk in and purchase locally-caught fish and shellfish, as well as a range of takeaway seafood options including lobster and crab sandwiches, salads and chowder. There will also be two evening takeaway options - Seafood Paella on a Thursday and Grilled Lobster, Wedges and Slaw on a Sunday.
Amanda said of the retail aspect of the business: "We wanted to challenge the assumption that fish shops are damp and slightly smelly. Our shop is quite simply beautiful and includes original art work, historical photos of Scilly and of course locally caught fish. As a family this is our investment in Scilly for both us and the next generation of fisherman to come after us."
Island Fish is open Monday to Friday 9.30am–5.30pm and Sunday 10.00am–4.00pm.
Island Fish won 'Best Business Startup of 2015/16' at the Western Morning News Business awards in November 2017. Mark was also named ‘Shellfish Fisherman of the Year 2016’ at the Fishing News Awards last May.