First it was the move away from Grangemouth’s La Porte Precinct – and an office block that is due to be demolished – to the heart of the town in York Arcade and now it has vacated Callendar Square Shopping Centre.
While the move away from Falkirk town centre down to Grahams Road might not seem to be a positive step at first, for owner John Stephen, who runs the business with wife Hazel, it made perfect sense.
John said: “The Grahams Road premises is bigger and we are right next to what is one of the busiest roundabouts in Falkirk. The footfall just wasn’t what we hoped for in Callendar Square, but this new shop is really busy."
There are now six Fresh Fish Place shops in central Scotland, including the new store in Grahams Road and the one in York Arcade, Grangemouth.
And all the premises have only the freshest fish thanks to John’s Peterhead connections.
"The fish are leaping off the counter they’re so fresh,” joked John.
The COVID-19 crisis had a huge negative impact on a number of local businesses, but John admitted the Fresh Fish Place managed to weather that storm and prosper.
Something he takes no pleasure in when he sees what other firms have had to go through.
John said: “We have been one of the winners during this pandemic because people have been looking to shop local for fresh products. I’m not proud of this fact, but we were just fortunate to be in the right business when the coronavirus hit.
“I feel greatly for business owners who are going through bad times, I feel their pain. We are a local shop with fresh produce and that is what people want and we offer them a ton of choice.”
Both John and Hazel come from families steeped in the traditions of Peterhead’s fishing community, and their main supplier, John’s cousin George, provides fresh fish to the local shops every day from processing plants in Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
A visit to the Fresh Fish Place – in Falkirk or Grangemouth – will give customers a diverse array of fresh and frozen fish and other seafood, along with smoked fish, marinades and more.
Haddock, salmon and halibut have always been great sellers and fishcakes have been flying off the shelves like hotcakes.
Besides offering a walk-in-and-buy facility for people in Falkirk and Grangemouth the business also delivers to a long list of outlying towns and villages.