CELEBRATING THE HERITAGE OF THE FISHING AND TOURISM INDUSTRIES
Anyone local to North Tyneside will know about Riley’s Fish Shack at King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth – it’s a business which enjoys a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation.
Run by husband and wife team, Adam and Lucy Riley, Riley’s Fish Shack employs a full-time equivalent staff of 15 with seasonal additions up to around 25 as required. The Fish Shack opened in September 2015 after trading as a street vendor since 2012. The staff are spread across the Fish Shack outlet and a fish processing premises in Howden.
Adam Riley tells us more.
Tell us a little more about Riley’s Fish Shack
We started trading back in 2012 at the inaugural Tynemouth Food Festival – that gave us our first foray into the world of street trading. We traded at various festivals after that until we got our first regular outlet at the Boilershop Steamer, which we co-founded, in Newcastle in 2013.
That was when our business really took off and we started looking for a permanent outlet for our fish restaurant. Riley’s Fish Shack was born from our love of fresh, honest, healthy seafood which there seemed a real shortage of in our hometown of Tynemouth.
How did you come to apply for the Leisure and Tourism Award?
A member of the Regeneration Team at the Council suggested that we should put ourselves forward for the award because of the success we’d experienced since opening the Fish Shack. The reviews we’d received from national media, like The Guardian, had really put us on the map for tourism in the North East.
What does winning the Award mean to your business?
Winning the award has opened so many doors to us and the business. We’ve met and struck up relationships with Councillors and we’ve met loads of other small businesses in the area as a result of winning the award. We had no idea about outsourcing parts of our business so that we could concentrate on what we do best, and winning the award has introduced us to a whole network of supportive and highly-skilled businesses. As a result, we’ve started working with a number of them to grow and expand our core business.
What are you plans for the business?
We’re currently working with the North Shields Fish Quay Company to help in the regeneration of the fish quay. That involves setting up a regular fish market down there to showcase the amazing industry that is fishing in North Shields. The industry has suffered some set backs in recent years and we’re delighted to be on board, with many other businesses, to turn the industry’s luck and reputation around.
What’s the best thing about running a business in North Tyneside?
North Tyneside as a business arena has changed massively over the past five years. Tynemouth itself has changed too and there’s an exciting feeling around the place about the growth of businesses and the thriving tourism industry we now enjoy. Having opportunities for growth, like our Fish Quay plans, is fantastic. We’re helping to roll leisure, tourism and business into one, while celebrating and exploring the incredible heritage North Tyneside and the fishing industry has.