In 2019, two family members, with very different career backgrounds and skills decided to join forces and open the first sustainable and ethical seafood establishment in South Australia. Mandy grew up in a food-loving family by the sea and surf of Port Noarlunga South and the rivers in Kakadu. After a successful career in the Finance Sector and then Consultant, she embarked on what she believes is her true calling, bringing truth and transparency to the food supply chain of seafood. “Many moments and experiences in my life have come to this single point of opening the shop, but three things that stick with me every day :
1. “Only 7% of seafood caught in SA stays in SA”
2. A couple of years ago I was buying some King George Whiting at the Central Market and paid $99kg, while the fisher was receiving $17kg.
3. A conversation with a small scale fisher, who lives in regional SA one day told
me, him and his wife do not tell people they are “commercial fishers” as they don’t
like the adverse reaction they get, basically they are embarrassed.
Not only is this heartbreaking, it is also something our society should be embarrassed about. If you have ever grown a small veggie plot, you would know the emotional investment and the joy at harvest time.
Primary producers endue so much, and the current supply chain is built to screw down the price to the fishers, buy in peak season at a low price, then freeze the product.
This hoarding of stock is not good for the fishers, the environmental stewardship or the consumer.
We want to build place that was trusted for sustainability, transparency and ethics. One that respects the fisher and the farmer, understanding the seasons, challenges and unexpected surprises of being a producer.
Sam, a pioneer chef who has travelled widely, read thoroughly, and built relationships in many celebrated restaurants throughout Australia. One turning point was a meeting with global food identity Heston Blumenthal at a function in Sydney.
The young chef, talented and not yet confident, was urged by his aunt, Mandy, to step up and ask Heston for a job. It was a bold move that paid off with a pivotal stint at Heston’s famous Three Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant, near London. Returning to his hometown of Stirling in 2018, Sam was frustrated at the lack of quality and variety of SA Seafood “In South Australia, fish and chips should be brilliant. Every time,” says Sam. “I’m tired of under-utilized fish not being looked at. We have so many other options, more than 2000 species.”
Sam thinks about food differently, a rebel with a good cause in mind and heart. He is the first person in SA to Dry Age fish, which initially takes some convincing, however, as they say “the proof is in the pudding”.
Sam admits that teaching, without preaching, is the tricky part, “Letting people know, getting them to taste, and experience the difference. Dry Ageing fish allows you to experience the next level of flavour”.
We built a wood fire in the shop, which also gives another dimension of delivering seafood differently. ” I don’t order off a computer, or stock list – I have conversations with people on what on the fishers have sourced, some days I am expecting some King George Whiting from Kevin, but instead, he’s come across a whole lot of Australia Salmon or Snook, so that’s what we get. It makes my job difficult at times, but our menu is always creative and reflective of what’s available and changes regularly.