The west Suffolk family fishmongers with award-winning service

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham. Adam Turner is pictured.

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham. Adam Turner is pictured. - Credit: Archant

Turners Fishmongers was recently recognised for Outstanding Customer Service in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham.

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham. - Credit: Archant

The family-run business is currently owned by Adam and Bethany Turner, who took it over two-and-a-half years ago.

Adam is a third generation fishmonger – his parents Phil and Diana set up Turners fishmongers in 1977 and Phil’s father sold fish and chips and wet fish before passing away at the age of 44.

Phil and Diana still work with Adam on the fish van, which you’ll find in Coggeshall on Thursday mornings and Long Melford in the afternoon, Clare on Friday mornings, Lavenham from mid-morning to early afternoon, Debden Farm Shop in the afternoon and Willow Tree Farm Shop on Saturdays.

Adam first went on the van with his dad when he was six years old. “I really loved going out with my dad during the holidays,” he said.

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham. Adam Turner is pictured with mum, Diana.

Turners Fishmongers van in Lavenham. Adam Turner is pictured with mum, Diana. - Credit: Archant

Even from that early age, Adam was taught to treat all customers with respect.

“My dad told me when I was six or seven years old, whether a customer is buying a fish cake or a whole side of salmon, speak to them with the utmost respect.

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“His father taught him, it’s just something we do. Every customer who comes to us is very important.”

Adam and his parents now see their customers as friends, who will come and see them rain or shine.

But they still don’t know who nominated them for the Suffolk Food and Drink Award.

“I’d like to thank them. I have taken it as a massive compliment of our hard work.”

Adam began working alongside his mum and dad in 2001, and he and Stephanie bought the business in 2012.

“It’s a bit of a role reversal, I tell dad what to do now. We still work alongside each other though.”

Turners offers 60 to 70 different types of fish – between 20 and 30 shellfish, 20 to 30 smoked fish and 30 sorts of wet fish.

As well as offering outstanding customer service, Adam makes sure they offer good value for money too.

“Fish is quite an expensive commodity, so I sell some fish at cost price. Every customer goes away happy, whether I am making a profit or not.”

Adam is also mindful of where the fish comes from and how it’s caught.

“Because of good transportation and refrigeration, it’s incredible where you can source fish from. It’s caught off Cornwall or Scotland one day and sold the next. But, having said that, we still source as locally as possible.”

Fish sold by Turners is caught from a long line rather than from nets, when possible.

“It’s much more environmentally friendly and the quality is better as well – it’s a win-win situation. We pay a premium, but it is the best option.”

If you’re put off fish because of the bones, Adam can pin bone the fish for you, or offer a tail end, which will be boneless.

He is a keen cook, making fish dishes two or three times a week, so he can also give advice on how to cook the fish and recipe ideas.

“A lot people bring little ones along with them, so I talk to them about the fish too and that helps them to learn.”

Adam would like to pass his knowledge on to his 18-month-old son in the future.

“I am the third generation and if the business continues to do well, I will encourage little Teddy to carry it on.”

• To place an order, or to contact Adam or Bethany, call 01787 377768 or 07971 811947.