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A Chat With Stefan Griesbach from Eat More Fish and Gannet Fishmongers

Established at the Galway Market almost 2 decades ago, Eat More Fish is the online shop of Gannet Fishmongers and is still the busiest seafood counter at the same market since 2004! Selling traditional Irish fish influenced by the owner’s French roots, with a hint of Asian flavours, Eat More Fish place sustainability and quality at their core. We had a chat with the owner of Eat More Fish, Stefan Griesbach, who has over 30 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge about fish, all about the business.

Eat More Fish are part of the Euro-Toques Ireland community of Irish producers.

Can you tell me about your own background in the food industry?

Arrived in Ireland from France in 1997 to work for the salmon farming industry. I always had a strong personal appetite and interest for seafood. I had been working in a French fishmongers for a few years before moving to Ireland and decided to return to that field after terminating my career in aquaculture.  

What inspired you to set up your business? Did you notice a gap in the market?

I had been living in Galway for a few years, when the absence of a fresh fish counter on the Galway market struck me. It took a few years to get through the market’s waiting list but eventually got a pitch in 2004.

How did you set up the business and how has it been growing over time?

The business has grown organically over time. First as a part time job on Saturday, then full time with the addition of other markets in Galway county. Eventually chefs around Galway starting looking for our alternative product range and reputation for reliability… Gannet fishmongers evolved as the leading wholesale fish business on the West coast with the ‘who’s who’ of the restaurant industry relying on our supply. Difficulties with recruiting staff combined with a large volume of quality Irish product led to us deciding us to shut down most of our wholesale operation in 2019 to focus strictly on B2C and give us time on the development of our online fish shop, eatmorefish.ie

Where do you source the ingredients used to make your product?

We have a deep commitment to sourcing local products – 95% of our fresh products are Irish-sourced. Focusing solely on selling to customers only meant that we have the flexibility not to offer products when out of season. We only import a small amount of product, only when the quality is better than those available locally.

Can you tell me about some of the benefits associated with your product?

Sustainability is at the core of what we do. Importing a product with an organic label from the other side of the world is nonsense, mostly when similar or alternative products are available locally. Seasonality of our food supply needs to be re-looked at and consumers re-educated. Local products are fresher, always cheaper when looking at the overall cost of flying out-of-season goods around the world. We look at having short windows of supply for a product as an opportunity. Seasonality is to be celebrated and enjoyed at its most, there is still a season for everything… too many imports are ersatz of the local product they are competing with or meant to replace.

How has working with Euro-Toques Ireland impacted your business?

We feel it is important to support this community of chefs who share our belief and interest for local food and gastronomy.

What has been your favourite part of working with Euro-Toques Ireland?

Award day in Dublin was wonderful!

How important has social media been for you in spreading the word?

It is the best platform to keep in touch with our existing customers and engage new ones.

What makes your product unique?

We sell what we like, what we eat ourselves, nothing else. 

Where can people get your product (shops, restaurants?)

Our products are available at our markets in Galway, Loughrea, Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, in addition to our Galway factory shop and of course nationwide at eatmorefish.ie

Are there any other small Irish food producers you admire?

So many other producers are doing great work with amazing products, keeping their head down like ourselves with very little else time to market themselves… locally in Galway, the likes of Larry at Galway Cheese (formerly Galway goat cheese), is one of the best cheese makers in the country. They have amazing products and a talent to create his own style of product rather than copying others… 

Liam Henneghan from Tribal foods in Athenry, an excellent local veg grower, who is growing lots of niche products, like his first crop of Edamame beans.

Garry Harty from Galway Gourmet Oysters, who imported a novel oyster growing system in Ireland and produced the best oysters I ever tried…  and I shucked a few! His production remains at a test size, but he represent the future of the Irish oyster industry.   

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced since going into business?

Staffing … It was difficult before, we are now at a cliff edge. There are lots of different skills to be taught to become a professional fishmonger.

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date with this business?

To have built in Galway and across a community of seafood enthusiasts. We have become an essential source of supply for many.    

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