No Grey Areas with Fins
For owners John Cordin and Phil Clark – the concept of Fins Seafood is simple – it is about understanding the whole logistical journey, from ocean to plate. And rest assured – there are no grey areas – it’s only black and white with these lads…
In the seafood industry, passion is important. And for both John and Phil they are not lacking in it. Phil, the winner of the WAFIC State Seafood Awards Young Achiever prize in 2015 and John, the Young Achiever Award winner in 2013, say that working in the local seafood industry was destiny.
It was this passion combined their go-getter enthusiasm for seafood and WA’s commercial fishing industry that saw them take less than six months from initial concept of the commercial venture to opening the doors of the South Perth seafood retailer shop.
“Phil and I came up with the idea when we drove to Perth from Melbourne. We decided on the concept of the business and what we wanted to represent in terms of the colours and logo etc.,” said John.
Phil explained the logic behind the black and white colour scheme.
“Back in the old school days when everything was good quality – the daily fresh catch was drawn on a chalk board. Our colours at Fins Seafood are black and white just like our customers decisions at Fins seafood which are black and white – with no grey areas. Our customers know exactly that the seafood at Fins will be top-quality,” he said.
“That is where we as a business are different and have been successful –we want consumers and chefs to understand every chain of event – who caught the seafood, how it was caught and where it came from.”
“You as a customer can be guaranteed that what you purchase from Fins is top-quality seafood from sustainable fisheries across Western Australian and Australian. We solely focus 100% on local product.”
One of the ways that they ensure local seafood product knowledge is passed to customers directly, is through training of staff – an important component of their business model.
Phil said that it is not only the latest recruits that get training.
“Training goes for all of us. John spent a whole day out on the same Octopus boat as our latest recruit Lochie, and just last Friday I had the same experience with our other Octopus fishers boat.”
“The hardest job was getting these 30-40kg pots and moving them to the back of the boat.”
“I watched the crew do it the first time and thought I can do this the whole day. That was a bad idea… I was sore as. But it was a great learning experience,” Phil chuckled.
“We have also been working closely with local longline fishers – and will be going out on their boat as well.”
John said that the educational experience wasn’t just for staff at Fins.
“Our suppliers also benefit from what we have learnt along our journey. We make sure they’re very much involved in our business and assist them by providing guidance to continue to improve”, he said.
With over 2000 followers on Instagram, it is easy to see why… the Fins library is full of vibrant, interesting and educational photos of the seafood industry throughout Western Australia. Expect to see daily updates of catch, recipe ideas from local restaurants and behind the scenes action from fishers.
I asked Phil the question … I have heard you like to post a lot.
Phil laughed, “Oh mate, any chance.”
“We used to be a little less hesitant – now we post as much as we can.”
John said that the popular social media platform, Instagram, has assisted with selling seafood to new customers, wholesalers and chefs.
“We want to be transparent with our customers, no secrecy, and social media allows us to do just that. The idea is to provide the customer with a connection all the way down to the fisherman – promoting the ocean to plate concept.”
The two mates and business partners are certainly not the new squids on the block anymore, adding to the two-and-a-half-year-old business by opening the Hamilton Hill warehouse and processing factory a year ago.
“The processing factory in Hamilton Hill only opened at the start of the last financial year,” said John.
“Business is starting to get really steady but the main thing for us is getting as close to the back of the boat as possible.”
“We are really focussing on providing customers with that line-caught high-quality flesh and taste.”
Concluding, John said that the challenge in the future is the aging demographic of the industry.
“The seafood industry has an aging demographic and there is not a lot of young people coming through – which is what we want to change.”
Phil echoed the statement, encouraging anyone with a passion for the industry- not just fishing, but processing and cooking to come down and interact with us.
“This is why we love the industry – the daily interaction with people from fishers to customers, the ability to tell local seafood stories and the chance for us to make a change,” said Phil.
Fins Seafood promote themselves as reel fish, real passion – find out for yourselves. Head to their factory direct retail store: 14 Emplacement Cres, Hamilton Hill. For Insta fun find them on: https://www.instagram.com/finsseafood/