Traditional fishmongers 'making a comeback' in Edinburgh

After years of decline, traditional fishmongers are making a comeback with companies like Newhaven based Welch Fishmongers leading the pack.

Published 22nd Apr 2016
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The National Federation of Fishmongers reports new outlets are opening all the time as sales of fish and shellfish boom. With provenance at the forefront of consumer’s minds and foodie culture on the rise, local fishmongers are increasingly drawing back the crowds.

Consumer demand for healthier products and the fallout from the ‘Horse-gate’ scandal are believed to be factors contributing to the increase, as well as traditional fishmongers offering more of an education in fish preparation, cooking and accompaniments.

Welch Fishmongers is family business, which sells more than twenty varieties of fish and shellfish every day. Evolving to suit consumers needs, Welch’s is a one-stop shop, offering exotic fish species from the Caribbean, produce direct from Brittany, sushi kits, artisan pasta and a variety of deli products to help create a full meal. Customers can also enjoy whole or filleted, smoked or hot smoked fish or for shellfish, crustaceans and other seafood products.

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Picture: Welch Fishmongers

Gary Welch, Owner of Welch Fishmongers said: “We’ve seen a big increase in sales in the last couple of years and have especially noticed customers purchasing lesser known, alternative fish and shellfish that are more abundant in our seas.

“Fish used to be a once a week purchase but our customers are now buying more frequently. With our passionate and knowledgeable staff on hand to help and demonstrate, our customers are becoming increasingly confident in cooking more exotic varieties”.

Part of Welch’s recipe for success has been adapting to changing shopping habits. With more and more people abandoning the weekly supermarket shop in favour of daily visits to buy food locally.

Gary adds: “We want to provide a great modern fishmonger experience for our customers. It’s not enough just to put fish out on the ice, we want to open their eyes and introduce them to the delights of eating less abundant species which customers are increasingly interested in”

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