With fishmongers disappearing from our High Streets, the problem of obtaining high quality seafood is becoming harder by the day. For many customers the only choice is to buy in large bulk quantities.

However, one company in Grimsby is working hard to change all that by offering smaller clients the flexibility to order exactly the quantities of each product as they want it.

Current owner and managing director Steve Fox guided Seafood Express (Seaco) through a change of name and ownership from the highly respected Quick Fish after the previous owner retired. Steve had been in the business for 20 years, having worked his way up from a barrow boy after leaving school in the seventies. Together with his three senior colleagues, Seaco management now has over 100 years experience in the fish trade!

“You might ask, how are we different? Well, we believe that the answer lies in not only what we can supply but perhaps more importantly, how we supply it. We believe that we are possibly the only company that will make up mixed pallets of fish products in order to meet the specific needs of each customer. Not only that, if we do not have a particular product in stock, we will do our utmost to get it. Not only that but our customers can order several times a week to meet their demand and this, in turn, helps their cash flow.”

Seaco imports white fish in bulk from Iceland, The Faeroe Islands, Norway and China directly into factories in Grimsby. When the product arrives Seaco carry out full quality inspection before then packing into 4.5kg IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) Seaco branded cartons or customer own label. Steve says, “All our raw material white fish products are from Frozen At Sea or single frozen IQF which makes it much fresher than the so-called ‘fresh’ fish which is brought in CHILLED having been on a fishing boat for several days.

We have our own holding store plus several hundred additional cold storage spaces in main stores in Grimsby. As a result we can store hundred pallets of White fish and the full Seafood range with over 200 different lines at any one time – Peeled Prawns, Scampi, Crevettes, Cockles, Mussels the list goes on and on. More recently we’ve added a highly acclaimed chilled sector including best Scottish smoked Salmon, Kippers, Mackerel etc.

“We have built Seaco on the basis of service. Our customers might want one case of one species, six of another four of another and so on. We can provide these mixed pallets to meet their specific needs and we will go to any length to give our customers exactly what they want. We have nine staff, all fully trained and experienced in this trade. And while people say that fish is expensive, I recently found a price list from 1995 and many of our products today are cheaper than they were then!”

Seaco has around 200 live customers across the wholesale and catering trade, including the ‘white vans’ which deliver to towns and villages across the country, offering a proven range of Fish and seafood products. Seaco doesn’t compete geographically with its wholesalers. It does however offer a new Internet site as well as delivering to a wide range of restaurants and small businesses across Lincolnshire. Steve says, “This is vitally important – we need to look forward in the business as do our competitors.

When we started, many of our suppliers in Iceland and the UK dealt with us on trust, as Seaco was a new company so insurance levels ie credit limits awarded at that time were not enough sometimes to cover stock we needed. However they knew what we had achieved in the past and trusted and believed we would make a success of Seaco (uk) Ltd and I thank them very much for that support. We believe that we have repaid this trust many times over during the last five years.”

For further information please telephone 01472 269207 or visit www.seafood-express.co.uk.

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