Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Amity Fish Company are a Scottish Seafood supplier based at the heart of Peterhead Harbour, Europe’s largest fishing port. Working with local producers, we source and supply the highest quality of Scottish seafood to restaurants, fish and chip shops, the offshore sector and now direct to customer via home delivery across mainland UK.

How has the Coronavirus crisis impacted your business so far?

Prior to the pandemic, our business was 90% business to business supply with a small portion of orders being from the general public. So when lockdown hit and eateries were forced to close we lost all our customers overnight. We were faced with the prospect of shuttering the business and putting all staff on furlough, or pivoting and trying something new – at this point we made the decision to offer contactless doorstep deliveries direct to consumers and we were met with huge demand! After a couple weeks managing phones ringing off the hook we launched an online store allowing our customers to browse and order from our selection 24/7 and added a couple new ‘crew members’ to our team – this has really helped develop the direct to customer side of the business. We are now in the process of launching or new company website and store which will better reflect the produce we supply and service we provide and are delighted to see some of our hospitality customers returning. Going forwards now, Amity Fish Company is a more equal split between our trade customers and general public, so the Coronavirus crisis really has made a huge impact on our business and changed how we operate completely.

How has your business needed to evolve and change to operate in this environment?

As mentioned previously, our business model had to change overnight. We were in a fortunate position where it was possible for us to meet the needs of consumers by delivering top quality Scottish seafood direct to their doors in a safe, contactless manner when they could not seek it elsewhere. We are pleased to say many of these customers have become return customers over the last few months and so the decision has been made to continue catering for these customers even as our trade customers begin to return. Our business has involved into one that is both business to business and customer facing and the team are loving it.

Has it presented opportunities which you would not otherwise have considered?

The pandemic has made us look closely at how we operate as a business and implement changes where necessary. We’ve learned a lot while fulfilling customer orders across our local area and meeting demand about how to do it more efficiently – and in a more environmentally friendly manner! We are aware there is a huge initiative to shop small and support local – many are also continuing to shop online to minimize the risk of going out.  Our new website and online store may never have happened had it not been for these changes in society. We are also delighted to be working in close partnership with some other local companies to increase our customer reach. We have a fantastic relationship with Aberdeenshire Larder, who are passionate as we are about offering top quality local produce. We are pleased to be offering our selection of fine seafood to Aberdeenshire Larder customers through their own website. We also run a weekly online market in the Aberdeen and Shires food hub among some of the regions greatest producers. In addition to this we have a great working relationship with McLeod’s fish and chip shop in Inverness, whom we supply and they now provide a delivery service for our produce in the Moray and Inverness areas every week.

Finally, how are you celebrating this Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

We will be celebrating Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight by sharing great inspiration on how to use our produce, teaching the nation about the beautiful seafood our country boasts and enjoying finding out about all the other producers and suppliers taking part! We should be proud of the amazing food and drink produced in this country and we are delighted to take part in this celebration!