SeaFood Business

MAY 2013

SeaFood Business is the global trusted authority for seafood buyers and sellers. We are the seafood industry's leading trade magazine with more than 30 years of experience. Our coverage is based on the "business" of buying and selling seafood.

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Global Foodservice Photo courtesy of the Quayside Chef Andy Knowles' focus on locals earned a strong following for his restaurant. Attainable luxury Welshman Knowles returns home, succeeds on a shoestring By Anthony FletCher A bout 10 years ago, Andy Knowles was becoming fed up with his job in Cardif. He missed his home county of Pembrokeshire, on the southwest tip of Wales, and so he and his wife decided to move back home with no fxed plan. A chance encounter with a café owner one day led to him becoming the proprietor of the Quayside, a modest-sized establishment overlooking the bay at Lawrenny village. He opened for business in 2004. "I really had no idea what to do," he recalls. "I'm not from a catering background, so I had to fnd my own way. One thing I learned pretty quickly though — it's a hard business." 36 SeaFood Business May 2013 For the frst few years, the Quayside barely broke even, and there were inevitable worries that the restaurant would go bust. But Knowles persevered and business began to pick up. "Te best advert in the world is word of mouth," says Knowles. "It is so strong. As they say, it takes 10 years to build a reputation, and 10 minutes to lose it!" Te Pembrokeshire peninsula is bordered on three sides by the sea. It is perhaps most famous for its Coast National Park, within which the Quayside is located. "We are right on the water," says Knowles. "If this hadn't worked out, I reckon I would have become a professional fsherman. Pembrokeshire ofers some fantastic shellfsh, but there isn't a great amount of people making full use of this; lots of shellfsh is exported to France or Spain, which I think is a shame." Knowles sources all his fsh locally. "I know a fsherman who catches crab and he and his wife pick the meat by hand. I buy from him; in fact, he's my main supplier, and we've kind of grown together. I get my fsh straight from the boat, it's just how I like to do things." Although out of the way, Quayside has built up a reputation for simple, fresh seafood lunches. Crab sandwiches are priced at £8.35 ($13), dressed crab at £10.50 ($16) and crab claws at £10 ($15). A Pembrokeshire Smokey — butterfied summer mackerel — sells for £6 ($9), while half a lobster goes for £12.50 ($19). "We're a low-cost, low-margin business," says Knowles. "What we're trying to do is make supposed luxury items attainable. I'd rather have regular customers than someone who comes in and has lobster just the once." Tis philosophy has paid dividends: In 2008, Pembrokeshire County Council presented the Quayside with the Best Use of Pembrokeshire Produce in a Hospitality Establishment award. Furthermore, by establishing a strong customer base, the Quayside has been somewhat sheltered from the economic crisis. "In a recession, people are more careful with their money," says Knowles. "But if you are ofering good value and good quality, and you're known for it, people will keep coming." He has just secured a second site, which is also located within the Coastal Path National Park. Te property is right on the beach, which will enable fshermen to bring their produce directly to the restaurant. Unlike the current premises, which are only licensed to open during the day between Easter and September, this second seafood venue will be able to stay open later, and all year long. Te Wave Crest café, as "In a recession, people are more careful with their money. But if you are offering good value and good quality, and you're known for it, people will keep coming." — Chef Andy Knowles, owner, Quayside it will be called, is scheduled to open next March. "I'm open to further expansion," says Knowles. "We don't have a lot of money, so Continued on page 42 Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com

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