It is no surprise that the traditional high street has gone some way in losing its vibrancy over recent decades but the independents are still going strong – kept alive by the people who value their product offering, knowledge and that age old tradition of community spirit. Step out of Glasgow’s Shields Road subway and you will find The Fish People a well-known and highly regarded fishmongers, a key supplier for Wild Fig and one that has stood the test of time.
Andy Bell took over the shop 17 years ago but has been working as a fishmonger for over 40 years – no man is better placed to share his knowledge of the changing tides of customer buying habits and the fantastic Scottish seafood that he delivers to the counter and restaurants throughout the city.
How did you come to open The Fish People?
This site had been a fishmongers for many years before I took it on. I started working in retail over 16 years prior to that and when I first started I hated every minute of it but after a couple of years working with and finding out the source of the product I began to enjoy sharing this with customers. The Fish People has just gone from strength to strength and we have been really supported by a loyal customer base.
Watch Andy and Justin chat about the outstanding quality of scottish seafood and in particular hand dived scallops..
Have you noticed a change in buyer habits over the years?
The variety of fish we sell has widened, where people would traditionally buy mackerel, haddock, sole and cod they are now asking for tuna, seabass and monkfish. Cooking programmes have not only been a big influence in encouraging people to experiment but to shop in the traditional fishmongers and grocers. There is an understanding that if they don’t shop locally they will lose them.
That element of traceability of the product is also important, something we can share with our customers directly.
On the 12th of November we are hosting a Wild Fig Pop up dining event using hand dived scallops from sourced from Barra – ‘Salt and Chilli Scallops’
The Fish People, 350 Scotland Street, Glasgow, G5 8QS