Fishmonger Crawford nets global boost for the business

Ewing’s Seafoods, the iconic fishmonger in Belfast, has been named ‘The Best Fresh Seafood Supplier in Northern Ireland’ in the prestigious Food and Drink Awards organised by the upmarket LUXlife magazine in Britain which has a global circulation of almost 250,000.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 6:00 am

Family-owned and managed Ewing’s, which operates a fresh fish and seafood processing operation and a retail outlet on the Shankill Road, near Belfast city centre, is among the best known and most successful seafood businesses in Ireland, supplying a range of fresh fish and other seafoods to over 400 restaurants and hotels here.

LUXlife, a publication aimed at top people worldwide, says the influential award was made after rigorous judging by a team of food experts.

“All our winners were nominated and were judged on their merits with assessment centering around an extensive evaluation of the skills and services that they offer,” the magazine’s Katherine Benton adds.

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Crawford Ewing of Ewing’s Seafoods in Belfast

“Our merit driven approach has brought us much commendation and allows our team to identify those most dedicated in demonstrating expertise and an unwavering commitment to excellence within their field.”

Crawford Ewing, a director of the family business which started back on the Shankill in 1911, is understandably delighted with the global recognition from such an influential publication.

“It’s an immensely encouraging recognition after the immense challenges from the coronavirus pandemic over the past year or so,” says Crawford.

“The pandemic meant all our customers in hospitality were shuttered for a very lengthy period. We had no idea when they would be allowed to open again and some have opened their doors for limited periods only so far. It was a very worrying time for so many of our customers and there are still challenges arising in particular from a chronic shortage of experienced staff. Many employees from other countries went home due to the uncertainty associated with Brexit and others left when their employers had to pull the shutters down.”

Walter Ewing checking salmon being smoked slowly in the company’s unique smokery on the Shankill Road in Belfast

Many customers were steadily recovering business they had lost and were endeavouring to build for the future. We’ve been working closely with them to provide the fish and seafoods they require and when they need them,” Crawford continues.

“There were challenges too in securing fresh salmon and other seafoods due to Brexit difficulties and the confusion resulting from the Irish Sea Protocol. Covid-19 fishing rules also reduced the supply of langoustines, for example, from local ports. Overall, it was an immensely worrying time for our industry.

“We also had to furlough employees to balance the business which became dependent on retail sales through our own small shop and with highly supportive local delis and Sainsbury’s supermarkets. We also benefited enormously from the loyalty of customers who popped into our shop during the pandemic, providing important cash flow. They’ve continued to back the business since then.

“The global award has given us all a much needed lift as we see our core business in hotels and restaurants recovering steadily. Our retail business also continues to grow steadily. Good news such as this is very welcome. There aren’t many food producers left on the Shankill these days. Our history goes back to the time when the shop sold fish to workers building the ill-fated Titanic at Harland and Wolff shipyard across the city,” adds Crawford who runs the historic business with father Walter, the managing director, and brother Warren.

The company is also a major supplier of smoked fish including salmon and cod from its own smoker that dates back to the earliest days of the business. The quality and rich flavours of its products have led to UK Great Taste Awards for smoked salmon and smoked cod loin.

LUXlife is a premium lifestyle publication which is based in England and was founded in 2015 by the publishing company AI Global Media Ltd. Distributed to a circulation of 238,000 readers globally, LUXlife focuses on a range of topics within the luxury lifestyle industry, featuring articles on; fashion, beauty, fine dining, travel, luxury real estate and much more.

In addition to providing readers with regular news and updates on all elements of a luxury lifestyle, the magazine also seeks to provide luxury firms with the perfect media platform to showcase their business to a readership comprised of high net worth individuals. As such, it publishes only the most cutting edge of products, services, attractions and events that will appeal to our audience. Some of the world’s most internationally renowned brands, individuals, high-end developments and products are highlighted in the magazine so that readers will find everything they need to truly live a luxury lifestyle.

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