Ailsa and Robert Latimer are hoping to prove South Tyneside is the ‘plaice’ to be for quality seafood.
The couple, who run fishmonger Latimers Seafood Ltd, have entered the prestigious national Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2018 in the Fishmonger of the Year category.
Whitburn-based Latimers previously scooped the title in 2015 and has also received the BBC Radio 4 Best Local Retailer award.
Votes and comments for the awards are invited from the public and will be viewed by the distinguished panel of judges including Radio 2’s Nigel Barden, in order to help them assess the businesses.
“When we won in 2015 it gave us a platform to receive wider recognition and gave us an opportunity to further grow the business,” said Ailsa.
“It was also a wonderful pat on the back for team Latimer’s. It would be amazing if we could win again at a time when the business has developed so much.
It’s all about sustainability; as a former fisherman turned fishmonger I’m part of a long-established network of hardworking fisherman along this very coastline.Robert Latimer
“Seafood is an excellent addition to anyone’s diet; we really feel passionately that it’s a wonderfully healthy food choice for all the family, young and old alike.”
Latimers has been trading since 2002, has gone from four to 23 staff, and is about to launch a revamped website with a new click and collect online service that will complement its existing thriving deli and café business, and is part of a rebrand set to bring a new look the site.
Robert is the third generation of his family to run a business on the site: “Although it is my grandfather who taught me to fish and my family has close links with the fishing community, people remember we actually ran a petrol station,” he said.
“My grandfather built the garage and the family bungalow from sand and gravel off the beach, my nana ran the petrol station, my dad ran the haulage business and I used to sell wild salmon in the garage.
“It’s all about sustainability; as a former fisherman turned fishmonger I’m part of a long-established network of hard-working fishermen along this very coastline.
“They know I give them a good and fair price in an industry I feel very strongly needs supporting, and it ensures Latimers always gets the freshest product out there.”
To vote for Latimer’s, visit http://www.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk/fsda18entrants by Tuesday.