Lochmaddy Bay Prawns

DA and Tina Nicholson, Lochmaddy Bay Prawns

A North Uist seafood business has launched a catering trailer after the business owners approached Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business advisory service, for support.

Established in 2014 by husband-and-wife team, Donald Archie (DA) and Tina Nicholson, Lochmaddy Seafoods Ltd was initially set up to sell langoustines and prawns caught on DA’s fishing boat to EU markets, including France and Spain.

With the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacting the fishing industry, the duo pivoted their business operations in 2020, and set up Lochmaddy Bay Prawns to sell part of DA’s catch to locals on the island. DA’s 35 years of fishing experience, combined with the couple’s shared passion for quality, sustainable Scottish seafood ensured that their catch sold well.

Lochmaddy Bay Prawns provided local businesses in the hospitality sector with a quality product, and with demand for their products increasing as restrictions began to lift, with the tourist season and holiday periods attracting customers, DA and Tina looked for ways to enhance their offering.

The pair came up with the idea to launch a catering trailer where their prawns could be cooked, packaged and sold in ready-to-eat tubs. Products include traditional prawn cocktails, rolls and wraps, all using sustainably caught creel prawns.

Armed with an idea, and seeking the practical knowledge needed to grow their business, the pair approached Business Gateway in 2022 for advice.

DA and Tina accessed a range of Business Gateway’s growth services, including one-to-one support from a dedicated business adviser. The adviser helped them develop their business ideas further and created a business plan, which was essential for setting realistic timescales in which to turn their plans for a catering trailer into a reality.

Through Business Gateway, the duo also accessed grant funding through the Comhairle’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS), which helped towards the purchase and fit-out of the catering trailer and a holding tank for the live shellfish.

The trailer, Lochmaddy Bay Prawns 2GO, opened to customers on 21 March. It is primarily based on North Uist to offer the new service to locals and visitors and will operate on a mobile basis throughout the summer months, attending local events.

DA, founder and owner, Lochmaddy Bay Prawns, said:

“Business Gateway has been a fantastic support in getting Lochmaddy Bay Prawns 2GO off the ground, helping us to develop our plans further and set achievable targets. I am very much looking forward to our exciting new venture and supplying locals and visitors with our locally-sourced sustainable shellfish.”

Fiona Chisholm, Business Gateway adviser, said:

“We were able to support DA and Tina through Business Gateway’s services, which established clear routes for growth for Donald and Tina. I’m sure Lochmaddy Bay Prawns 2GO will prove popular and I look forward to watching the business continue to thrive.”

To find out more about how Business Gateway could help your business, visit the Business Gateway website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).