Ballycotton Seafood to invest €1.1 million in upgrading production facilities with support from BIM

A family affair: Adrian and Diane Walsh, owners of Ballycotton Seafood in East Cork, and their son Kieran pictured in their fish shop in Garryvoe. Photo: BIM

Ballycotton Seafood to invest €1.1 million in upgrading production facilities with support from BIM

BallyCotton Seafood in East Cork is to invest more than €1 million in upgrading its production facilities and improving automation and efficiencies at its headquarters in Garryvoe.

The investment is supported by a €300,000 grant under the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, recommended by the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

Implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the schemes funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Ballycotton Seafood employs more than 40 people who work across it’s processing activities, smokehouse, food preparation kitchen and three shops in Garryvoe, Midleton and the English Market in Cork City.

According to Adrian Walsh, who runs the business with his wife Diane, the investment will add a more efficient automation system, upgrade fish processing equipment, improve traceability and expand the smoked salmon operations.

“Having improved processing capabilities and production capacity will help us move up the value chain and add value to fish through filleting, cooking, freezing and smoking. The investment in automation and processing is vital and will ensure more efficiencies and a streamlining of our operations.” he said.

Two chefs work daily in the large commercial kitchen in Garryvoe preparing a range of 25 ready-to-eat meals including chowders, seafood pies, sauces, crab, garlic mussels and breaded seafood.

“We use traditional cooking techniques and only natural ingredients sourced locally when making these products.  We cook on a daily basis for our shops, and you cannot get fresher than that,” said Adrian. “Since the end of the pandemic there has been a huge increase in demand for our ready-to-eat foods. People are busy and want convenience, but they still want quality and the freshest ingredients.”

He said: “We had a healthy export business to the UK which was heavily impacted following Brexit. That was a very tough time and we had to look at different markets. We ramped up sales in Ireland and we are also doing exports to France.”

Adrian and Diane Walsh of Ballycotton Seafood pictured in their fish shop in Garryvoe

Adrian added: “We rely on the loyalty and support of our customers and offer the best fish, seafood and service we can. Staff in Ballycotton Seafood shops take the time to discuss the fish and seafood on offer daily. They will help and give advice if needed when selecting fish and will fillet and prepare the fish and share cooking and preparation tips based on knowledge and experience gained over time.”

Adrian’s started his career as a butcher, but 25 years ago he switched careers and joined the seafood business started by his parents Richard and Mary Walsh in 1985. Adrian and his wife Diane are now the driving force behind Ballycotton Seafood, which is renowned in East Cork and beyond for its fresh fish and tasty range of ready-to-make meals carefully prepared every day.

From the very start Richard and Mary prided themselves on developing the business based on using the freshest fish landed in Ballycotton and around the south coast.

Over the years that tradition has been maintained and followed by Adrian and Diane, and Ballycotton Seafood has expanded and invested to offer not just a huge range of fresh fish and shellfish, but premium smoked fish and a wide range of popular delicious ready-to-eat meals.

Adrian and Dian’s son Kieran is now working in the business and will eventually take it over. “We are delighted that it will be handed down to the third generation,” said Adrian.

 

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