Updated: Jul 9, 2020
The Fish Hoose in Kirkcaldy, Fife, has diversified into selling fresh fish and seafood after coronavirus reduced its operating hours.
The chippy, which initially closed for seven weeks, reopened in May with a very successful online click and collect service. However, opening hours were reduced from five hours a day, seven days a week, to four hours four evenings a week initially.
With customers no longer coming into the takeaway and using the sit-down area, owner Colin Cromar has repurposed the space as a fishmongers, serving an array of daily changing fresh fish and seafood, from cod and hake to mussels and oysters.
Colin comments: “When the shop went down to limited hours I thought what else can I do? Initially, I thought about delivering fresh fish and then I thought, you know what I’ve got a shop that I rent, that I operate for four hours a day, sitting there doing nothing the rest of the time. That’s crazy.
“I had an area that people used to sit in and now they’re not. I didn’t charge anyone to sit there, so it was a no-brainer to take out the seats and replace it with a fish counter. Now we’re open 9am-4pm Wednesday to Saturday selling fish, and 4pm Wednesday to Sunday selling fish and chips.”
Colin is renting the ice counter and fish fridge for the first year while trade builds and he pays daily visits to his fish merchant to ensure they are stocked with the freshest pick.
“Today we’ve got some beautiful MSC certified Shetland mussels, hake, langoustines, monkfish tail, Hebridean salmon, MSC certified Shetland scallops, cod, lobster, herring, squid, mackerel whole and filleted, lemon sole, oysters, smoked kippers, you name it!
“The lobsters I ask customers to pre-order and I cook them so all they have to do is reheat them at home.
“It’s all new to me but it’s been really good so far. I’m really happy with it and potentially it’s quite profitable as there is no VAT on wet fish.”