Family Business of the year
We believe JCS Fish is a fine example of a modern business with family values that’s going places, investing in products, brand and people whilst at the same time developing the next generation. As family leaders, our drive and enthusiasm for what we do is infectious, and we have built up a fantastic team, most of whom have been with us for many years and feel just as enthusiastic about our mission and success as we do.
We are so fortunate and delighted that our son and his partner have chosen to join the business. They are both independently qualified in their specific fields (commercial finance) and both worked for other, larger businesses before coming to JCS Fish. We think this is a strong positive because even though they have joined the ‘family firm’ both have done so independently and from an informed point of view. They bring us excellent skills and outside experience which is already shaping our future direction and growth. Jack and Rosie will lead our next generation.
We are proud also to have cultivated the skills and enthusiasm of the rest of our team. People who joined us in relatively unskilled roles eight or nine years ago are now competent and productive members of our leadership team. Our ‘family feel’ goes much further than actual family. We always work on the basis that people are capable of more than they think they are – with the right guidance, encouragement and training we have built a tremendously strong and well-motivated team. We are now confident we have a whole next generation of people in place within JCS Fish to help secure its future and success for the long term.
Our business model is focused on matching quality salmon products to the needs of customers and consumers – for convenience, quality, healthy eating and flavour. Our core BigFish Brand includes frozen, prepared salmon fillets (plain, organic and with flavoured marinades) with clever packaging to make frozen salmon highly convenient, accessible and easy to handle. A focused period of product diversification in 2017 included the introduction of an exciting range of breaded salmon products (think scampi but salmon!) and smoked salmon and sea trout (a close relative of the salmon). We have also invested in outside experts to help us with product development and marketing, hopefully, to take BigFish Brand to the next level with national retail listings in addition to our listings in independents and online with Ocado and MuscleFoods.
And the quality of our product range has been underlined by awards, including most recently five separate commendations for BigFish Brand products in the Food Management Today Industry Awards (February 2018) and a shortlisting for our new Breaded Salmon Bites in the prestigious Chef’s Choice Award. During 2017 we also won a Great Taste Award (our fourth) for our new Sea Trout fillet product.
We think we’ve got a winning formula and our growth proves it. In 2017 we achieved a turnover in excess of £8.5M, with sales growth of 8.5%. And sales of our BigFish Brand more than doubled in volume, up 117% on 2016.
For all these reasons, we think JCS Fish is an excellent illustration of how a family-owned business should be. Flexible, fast on its feet and driven to succeed – yet with trust, staff understanding and personal insight that can only come from the close involvement of the family leaders.
What town/city are you based in?
Grimsby, Lincolnshire (North East)
Number of generations
Manufacturing – Food/Drink
Number of employees