Fishmonger hopes to get town hooked

GOOD quality fresh fish has been off the menu for too long in an Essex town and now a former fisherman has decided to do something about it.

Elliot Furniss

GOOD quality fresh fish has been off the menu for too long in an Essex town and now a former fisherman has decided to do something about it.

Kevin and Natasha Hughes saw a gap in the market in Colchester and opened a new shop selling as much locally-sourced seafood as possible.

The couple, who live in Mersea, opened Hughes' Fish at the end of last month and the trade has already been strong.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Hughes, 28, runs the shop, in Church Walk, off Head Street, during the week and is helped out by his wife on Saturdays.

A former fisherman working out of Mersea, Lowestoft and Grimsby, Mr Hughes left the high seas four years ago to begin working for the Environment Agency in order to settle down and start a family, before he launched his own fish stand at Colchester's market in April.

Most Read

He soon realised there was a strong demand for fresh, locally-caught fish in the town and he made the bold move to open the shop.

He said: “I'd had the market stall since April and that did well. I asked customers if they wanted a shop in the town and they were extremely excited about it. As much as I can I source from local boats, I try to support the local fishermen.

“I know who's caught it, when they caught it and virtually what they all had for breakfast.”

He said he knew the shop would never be able to compete with supermarkets in terms of price but hoped customers would recognise the quality of the produce on offer and keep coming back for more.

He added: “It's been unreal - the customers have almost said 'bless you'. The only thing is I'm a bit tucked out of the way and it's about getting people to know I'm here.”

He said the previous lack of a fishmongers' in Colchester town centre, since the closure of Green's in Eld Lane five years ago, was probably down to business rates and rental prices.

But a recent rise in the amount of fresh fish being eaten, thanks to the encouragement of TV chefs, was helping independent traders take on the big supermarkets.

Mr Hughes said: “The key is to not do too much to it (the fish) because the flavour is already there.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter