How long have you been doing what you do? 33 years (heavens above!). Fish n chip shop, Old Billingsgate Market, New Billingsgate Market, Oaklodge Smoked Salmon, James Knight of Mayfair.
Describe the culture of your business in three adjectives. Inclusive, dedicated, fun.
How would your clients describe your business? Best in class for quality of fish and quality of service.
You’re the Queen’s fishmonger…what would you cook for her? Don’t tell anyone, but she likes her flat fish – so I’d serve her a brill, providing it’s in season.
What would we find in your fridge? I don’t bother with ‘use by’ dates, preferring to use my eyes and nose to see if it’s edible, so I suspect there’ll be too much out-of-date food!
How many seabass can you fillet in a minute? Two
How many seabass can your fishmonger colleagues fillet in a minute? Taking it out of the box, scaling it, filleting it, pinboning it and packing it up ready for dispatch: three.
What’s the one problem you are best solving for your clients? Consistency. Consistency in terms of quality of product, quality of paperwork and delivery times; without it, is very time-consuming for them and ultimately distracts them from what they should be doing.
What are you most passionate about professionally? Improving the quality of life of my colleagues.
What are some qualities that you value in a person? Those who strive to do their very best at whatever they do.
Would you recommend your sector as a good career opportunity for a youngster? Most definitely – consumer demand for fish is growing, yet the number of people who want to work in it is dwindling – so yes, there are fantastic opportunities in the sector. We regularly take on young people for work experience.
What time do you get up? 2-3am, no alarm clock, even on weekends. Perhaps this explains my answer to the previous question!
What’s the most random customer request you’ve ever had? NASA asked me if I could develop a dehydrated smoked salmon for the Space Shuttle.
Where can we find you when you’re not working? Skiing or sailing, with my family – preferably both.
Any non-profits you love, and why? My local rugby club; I’m a qualified rugby referee and so am regularly called upon on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to referee a match. The training programme for the youngsters is really good, a life-changing experience for some.
Any awards or medals, or even medallions? My Royal Warrant Holder medals and RHA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence.