Fish Box, the Kerry seafood business, has announced the completion of a €400,000 investment, which will see it significantly expand its operations.
The Fish Box restaurant and takeaway, based in Dingle, is using the investment to put a food truck on the road, introduce a fresh-fish counter, and add solar panels, as part of a drive to be more energy efficient.
The Flannery family launched the ‘sea to fork’ experience five years ago and has won numerous food awards, as well as featuring in several food guides.
Micheál Flannery manages the business and looks after marketing and sales.
His brother, Patrick, operates and supplies fish from the family’s boat, Cú Na Mara.
Mother Deirdre is head chef, while sister Eimear works at the front of house.
‘Sea To Fork’
“This business is about us, our family, the restaurant staff, our boat, the crew of the boat, adding more value to the catch and fishing in a much more sustainable way,” said Micheál.
“We fish from Dingle and land our catch in Dingle, which then goes directly to our restaurant, in Dingle. There is no travel.
“I know who catches the fish, who handles it, who fillets it, who cooks it, and, finally, who eats it. We can literally offer a sea-to-fork experience.”
The Fish Box employs around 35 people and offers both a takeaway and sit-down option with outdoor area. With the current investment, the restaurant, which currently seats 20, is expanding to accommodate 100 customers indoors.
The investment will also see the addition of a fresh-fish processing and sales area, to include walk-in cold and freezer rooms, along with new signage and a solar panel system, which will reduce energy costs.
Brexit Adjustment Reserve
The Fish Box received €200,000 in grant aid towards its investment under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme, recommended by the Seafood Taskforce, established by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).
The scheme is funded by the European Union, under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
“Without the support of BIM and the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme, we would not have been able to have undertaken this significant investment,” said Micheál.
“We believe this is going to put us on the road to expansion, with local producers and fishermen benefitting, as well as the consumer.”