Based at Scrabster Harbour’s Seafood Park in the far north of Scotland, JPL Shellfish have been serving customers across the UK and beyond for more than 20 years.
For JPL, the emphasis has always been on locally sourcing the finest quality produce, obtaining all of their seafood from local boats landing in Scrabster Fishmarket and direct from fishermen all over the far north of Scotland. They also process their own fish and shellfish at their premises in the Seafood Park, and deliver directly to their clients.
In addition to owning and fishing their own station, JPL market their seafood through their own retail and wholesale fish businesses, allowing them to provide total traceability from sea to fork.
Operating a new fish-tagging system, JPL tag each individual fish with their unique company details and numbers, providing both domestic and commercial customers with reassurance in the produce.Established in 1992 by husband and wife team John and Christina Logue, JPL Shellfish began as a local agent for a large shellfish export company based in central Scotland. Seeing a gap in the market, the company broke away to establish their own customers in Europe.
The company’s original export operation saw them delivering Scottish sea fayre to France, Spain and Portugal on a weekly basis, in addition to their domestic wholesale and retail trades.
By 2012, an increased demand for high-quality, live shellfish to new international markets, including Asia, resulted in the expansion of their Scrabster premises. As part of this expansion, JPL purchased new containers, holding tanks and pumps for their Scrabster processing plant. Permission was granted by Scrabster Harbour Trust to install a pump directly from the sea to the new holding tanks, enabling clean sea water to circulate for the live shellfish, improving both the holding conditions and overall product quality.
By mid-2013, this fine seafood had made its way from its origins at Scrabster to the plates of Hollywood’s rich and famous. Capitalising on high-end market growth overseas once again, JPL now found themselves exporting to top hotels in Beverly Hills, as well as renowned restaurants in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Closer to home, JPL remained passionate in their commitment to their domestic clients, ensuring customers were still able to purchase internationally recognised produce at affordable prices locally. With this in mind, they rebranded their retail business, transforming their retail presence in Thurso and re-launching it under the new name ‘The Sea Larder’ in August 2013 with a street party to celebrate.
With the success from global export thrusting JPL into international waters, it was no surprise when further expansion was undertaken in 2014. As worldwide demand for their produce grew, JPL were keen to develop the business further in order to keep up.
Support provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) helped ease capacity issues by increasing storage for their stock, as well as an expansion of the processing area and enhanced packing facilities.
In addition to the support from HIE, John and Christina approached the North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF) for help in developing their shellfish tanks and refrigerated storage units. This increase in their storage capacity again allowed them to enhance their operations and secure their position for future growth in the Far East.
To complement the support from HIE and NHRF, JPL has been working closely with Scottish Development International (SDI) to magnify its global reach in new markets, including South East Asia, where JPL recently supplied shellfish at the World Gourmet Summit, Singapore’s annual flagship gastronomic event, which showcases the craftsmanship of award winning, Michelin and celebrity chefs.
Back on home soil, JPL continue to thrive. 2014 saw the company nominated for International Business of the Year at the Scottish Chambers business awards, and they continue to enjoy sustained success with their domestic operations, running their ever-popular shop ‘The Sea Larder’, and supplying five-star venues in the UK, such as Ackergill Tower and Skibo Castle.