Latimer’s Seafood Ltd
PRODUCER: Latimer’s Seafood Ltd, Tyne and Wear
PRODUCT: Smoked Haddock, Leek and Potato Pasty
REGION: North East
CATEGORY: From the Sea (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
When he was a boy, Robert Latimer went lobstering along the Whitburn beachfront in South Tyneside. Today, his seafood deli and café stands metres from where his fascination with the sea and what lives in it began.
After a spell as a creel fisherman in Scotland, Robert returned to Whitburn and set up shop, and 14 years later now employs a team of 30. The deli displays around 50 types of fish daily and all filleting and skinning is done in front of the customer.
Robert is a self-taught fishmonger and by running the shop in this way he hopes to encourage visitors to appreciate this traditional craft. He regularly receives school visits and local students take work experience placements here. “When they’re given the opportunity to touch crabs and lobsters and look in a monkfish mouth, their faces are an absolute delight,” Robert says. “Our local special needs school finds this visit especially rewarding.”
The business supports the local community in other ways, raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, fundraising to provide a local school with outdoor play equipment, lending kit to local Macmillan coffee mornings, and hosting Christmas carol concerts in the premises to support the local church and charities.
Latimer’s is passionate about sustainability, choosing to specialise in lesser-known local species that are smaller and lower down the food chain. Fish are sold according to what’s in season locally. Only reputable local day-boat fishermen who use traditional fishing methods supply the shop, with 90 per cent of their catch coming from within a 25-mile radius.
To create their smoked haddock, leek and potato pasty, the fish is smoked and pasties filled and baked on the premises, ensuring an artisan product with exceptional provenance and traceability.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges felt Robert and his team’s passion was very evident, and were impressed with the provenance of his fish as well as the competitive pricing. The panel thought this fantastic entry delivered a “real sense of the business and how it has developed from humble beginnings” and that Latimer’s Seafood Ltd was “a very strong contender… a trade showing the big supermarkets it’s very much alive”.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: latimers.com