Entrepreneur Calls in the Experts to Hook Extra Fish Sales
Having purchased a larger fresh fish counter for the store, Wales the True Taste Champion Conrad Davies decided to invest in increasing the skills and knowledge of staff so that they can improve customer service and advice.
With support from the Welsh Government as part of the Trade Development programme, expert Adam Whittle from the famous Billingsgate Seafood School in London and Gill Reacord, owner of the award-winning fishmonger Gill's Plaice in Tywyn and Aberdyfi, to give a one day course at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor in Dolgellau.
Nine staff members, two lecturers from the college and Mr Davies himself attended the course.
Gill's Plaice supplies locally-caught fresh fish to Mr Davies' stores in Dolgellau, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Pwllheli. Now the partnership is being further developed, as Mrs Reacord has allowed the expanded fishmonger's section be called Gill's Plaice at EUROSPAR Dolgellau.
Mr Davies is hoping to further grow sales by stocking a wider range of fresh fish, improving the advice given to customers and reducing wastage.
"The course focused on display skills, how to identify the different species and how to cook and use the fish in a variety of dishes," he said. "With the extra knowledge, staff will be able to advise customers on the different types of dishes best suited to the fish and to recommend associated ingredients that we sell in the store."
"Fresh fish sales have really taken off at the Dolgellau store thanks to the quality of fish supplied by Gill, who is also doing very well at her two shops. We are delighted that Gill has agreed to let us use her brand on the new fresh fish counter."
Sales of quality Welsh food and drink products at Mr Davies' three stores amounted to £1.8 million last year. The stores stock products from 70 Welsh producers, most of which are within a 50 miles radius.
To help expand his network of local suppliers, Mr Davies is receiving support from the Channel Clusters project, which is part of an initiative designed to help Welsh speciality food and drink businesses develop the UK market funded by the Welsh Government.
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Food, Alun Davies, said: "This is a good example of how local businesses can work together and in partnership with the Welsh Government, to promote locally produced food and strengthen the supply chain.
"The food sector is very important to help boost the economy in Wales, as well as playing a big part in our national identity and culture. The Welsh Government is fully committed to providing all the support we can help this industry grow."
The stores in Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog were the first in Wales to bear the elite EUROSPAR brand nearly three years ago. The Dolgellau store was named the Supermarket of the Year in the Welsh Government-managed Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards in 2010