Boxing clever as new fish brand launches in Grimsby

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 3 Jul 2018

A new brand in seafood retailing has been launched, taking Grimsby’s proud export direct to people’s doorsteps.

Ish Fish is the fledgling business from friends Joel Creasey and Garry Bainbridge, building a high end offer on pride and passion in their home town – and experience in the by-products business.

Sourcing from a third party Grimsby fish merchant, they are using packaging specialist Tri-Pack to supply distinctive boxes, insulated with eco-friendly wool to keep the temperature down while the sought after seafood is with the courier.

And while local is at the fore, it was an idea that emerged while on a business trip to Vietnam, a core market for the frozen fish heads Mr Creasey exports, having built up a strong business over the past five years, employing 20 people on South Humberside Industrial Estate.

Read more: UK Seafood Summit to address Brexit and plastic's marine impact

For Mr Bainbridge, Ish Fish is something he is keen to immerse himself in while on dry land, as he looks to spend more time ashore having worked as a professional sailor on yachts for nearly 20 years.
While visiting friends in Miami he was roped in as crew, with his first voyage a transatlantic sail to the South of France.

“Joel has a fish business – Grimsby Byproducts Ltd – and my interest was much smaller because of my sailing and time commitment,” Mr Bainbridge said. “I needed to find something I could really get into. We were out in Vietnam in February and a couple of friends from the gym had already asked me if I could get them some fish, as they wanted to eat more. So in the bar, in Vietnam, we were talking about the rise in online fish sales, and by the end of the evening a plan was in place.”

How a delivery looks for customers.

Offices have been taken on Grimsby’s Enterprise Village, with a social media specialist joining the pair, recruited from a panel of students put forward by Grimsby Institute. Trading for the past three weeks, online reviews are already raving about “how fresh and great the fish is”. The pair receive orders by email, then after the merchant buys from the market, the fish is received, vacuum-packed, parcelled up and sent out.

Mr Creasey said: “All my family have been in the industry, and we look around and see many are stuck in their ways. A lot do very well, but we want to do things a little bit different.” Of the name, he added: “We just wanted to make it easy for people to remember. As much as we would like it to be so, the same people won’t want to order fish online every week, but hopefully when they do the name will come straight in to their heads.”

Read more: Icelandic fishing quota increase welcomed in Grimsby

Marketing is the major focus with the pair confident in the quality of the products. “Most of the pictures you see are of fish, dead fish,” Mr Bainbridge said of the industry as it is. “We have brought in proper food photography, and we have worked with The Lincolnshire Chef, Steven Bennett, on recipes, to publish online.”

“We are very pro-Grimsby, we want people from Grimsby to come and work for us.” Mr Creasey added: “We are just on the cusp of getting to where we need to employ more people, and potentially look for a new place too.”

Visitors to the slick website – ishfish.uk – are urged to “cast their own net” and select their own order from a choice of 30 species from £15 minimum, or pick one of the four levels of ready-to-freeze selections from Deckhand at £41 to Captain at £81.



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