Dorset Fish and Shellfish Ltd
Update 29/11/2012. We don't get a lot of traffic on our very basic website - it serves as a means of keeping our very loyal customer base at the London farmers markets we attend in touch with what we are bringing up each Saturday and also give customers a way of joining our weekly email.
We haven't therefore updated the webpage text in over three years - time we did as we've grown a fair bit since! ( please scroll down to continue )
Christchurch Fish started life as a co-operative of small inshore fishing boats based in Mudeford, Dorset. In mid 2008 we began driving our Friday catch to London and selling direct to the public every Saturday at London Farmers Markets . We now attend two markets quite close to each other, one in South Kensington the other in Notting Hill, each a stone's throw from their respective tubes.
We use ecologically friendly fishing methods and take great care of our catch to ensure it reaches our customers in tip-top condition. In addition to our own catches we bring up rock oysters, clams and cockles year-round from our friends at Dorset Oysters Ltd
In 2010 we invited three Weymouth crabbing boats into our enterprise and since then a handful of Poole boats have joined us. As a result we renamed ourselves Dorset Fish and Shellfish Ltd, although many customers continue to call us by our original name.
In July 2012 we were awarded a grant by the European Fisheries Fund to build a small crab processing unit and earlier this month started producing what we believe is the best handpicked crabmeat in the country - we are very selective about the quality of the crab we land, and we don't store the crabs we land prior to picking.
Londoners can buy our crabmeat at our farmers markets, Dorset customers can pick it up at our unit ( 4 Benson Road, Nuffield Trading Estate, Poole BH17 0GB) . Additionally we drive our live crab, lobster, prawns, dived scallops and razors three times a week to London in our refrigerated vans to a number of restaurants, fishmongers and wholesalers.
The new unit means we are now able to export less of our catch and sell more in the UK.We have lots of plans for the year ahead including promoting hand picked dorset spider crabmeat and selling our scallops shucked rather than live in shell as we do presently.
Regular updates to follow....
Our unit will be opn most days in the run up to Christmas, just email in what you are after before coming over. We will have plenty of crab and lobster, crabmeat picked daily, shellfish and a good selection of fish, weather permiting. There are no London farmers markets on the weekend prior to New Years Eve but we will be coming up regardless on the morning of Sunday December 30th to drop off retail orders
Update 25/4/13 Water temperature finally going up and catches reasonable this month after a difficult winter.We ve resumed regular crab picking and stef and matt have just started diving for scallops and kelvin will start diving for razors shortly.Good range of fish at the moment, last of the herrings and prawns, first of the mackerel and plenty of dovers plaice bass bream ( gilt head plus the early black) turbot pollack and brill.We are bringing mondays fish up to london on monday night to wholesale customers and tuesdays fish on wednesday morning so do get in touch on 07906328859 or 07952306947.
We' ve ground to a halt this week, tied up along with most the rest of the inshore fleet due to the relentless weather systems.
Handpicked Dorset spidercrab meat and shucked Dorset dived scallops proved a big hit with all our customers last year and we are ready to increase quantities of those this year starting in late spring when our divers dust off their drysuits and the spiders start marching inshore.Demand for our handpicked brown crab continued to rocket and we hired three new crabpickers last year and plan to hire more this year.We gained SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval - www.salsafood.co.uk ) in the autumn.
Plan for the year ahead is to pick more crab for sale to the public, fishmongers and restaurants and sell less live crab to the wholesale markets ( where the price we get barely covers bait fuel and transportation). We will be revamping this website shortly with a info on the way we fish, profiles of all our boats and skippers and testimonals from our customers as we realize this website is a bit basic for those of you who we dont see on a weekly basis.
Well done (and thank you) if you've read this far !
This website will be taken down shortly and revamped when time and funds allow. Not in a tearing hurry since everything we catch and produce has ready buyers. In an age where small businesses are constantly told they must be on social media and spend money on marketing weve not done either prefering to let the quality of our catch and our produce speak for itself.
We reached a wider public when our crabmeat was listed by Ocado this time last year - crabmeat sales have increased steadily and we have ploughed back all our profits from that to upgrade from crab boilers to steamers. These go in next week and the trials we have done indicate that steaming further enhances the taste and texture. We will be listing Dorset handpicked lobstermeat later this month with Ocado and have got a couple more crab products in the pipeline