Seas the Catch

An Outer Hebrides shellfish supplier has successfully expanded its customer base into St Andrews, Glasgow and the Borders during lockdown and has praised support from Business Gateway, which ensured the firm was in a strong position to adapt to the pandemic.

Iain, Stewart and Neil Maclean, Seas the Catch

Seas the Catch supplies and promotes sustainable creel caught Hebridean shellfish to established and self-catering accommodation across the Highlands and Islands. With these outlets closed due to the lockdown, the business successfully adapted their offering by selling fish boxes direct to customers by delivery or through a new click and collect service.

The popularity of these boxes enabled the team to move to monthly deliveries instead of weekly, which gave them time to explore new customers and expand into central Scotland. Seas the Catch now supplies new customers in St Andrews, Glasgow and the Borders with shellfish including crab, langoustines, and scallops. There has also been high demand for lobster, which has resulted in Seas the Catch working with other local suppliers.

Sample catch, Seas the Catch

The business, initially launched in 2018, was supported by Business Gateway and received a variety of specialist start-up services including one-to-one business support, advice on business plans and start-up grant funding through the Outer Hebrides Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (OHYES).

Neil Maclean, co-owner, Seas the Catch, said: “We were initially very concerned when COVID-19 hit, as most of our customers were restaurants and hotels. However, by adapting and targeting new customers, we have now got an opportunity to expand our reach across Scotland.

“We engaged with Business Gateway when we first launched, and they helped ensure the business was in the best place for growth by providing helpful, strategic and impartial advice. This early support also meant that we were in a strong position going into this crisis as we looked to adapt to the pandemic.”

Fiona Chisholm, Business Adviser, Business Gateway, said, “The early stages of setting of your business are vital to get right, as it really helps ensure your business gets off on the right foot. We worked with Neil and the Seas the Catch team to do just that and it is rewarding to see how they have responded and enabled the growth of their customer base despite the challenges of lockdown.”

To find out more about Business Gateway and its services, please visit Business Gateway (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website.