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First retail venture for smoke house that brought PGI prestige to Grimsby

TRADITIONALLY smoked Grimsby haddock – Lincolnshire’s only protected food – has been listed by the Lincolnshire Co-op in a retail first for the company behind the prestige branding. 

First retail venture for smoke house that brought PGI prestige to Grimsby

Alfred Enderby’s prize dish is being rolled out by 69 stores, and it  follows a fight for a decade to win the recognition it is now revelling in.

Former owner Richard Enderby won the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Union, evidencing how it uses the same methods employed more than 150 years ago to bring the premium taste to the county’s kitchens.

It will form part of the retailer’s Love Local range, ensuring it can offer the same product as the likes of Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White source for their critically acclaimed restaurants, as the new custodian of the famous smoke house prepares to go to Westminster to ensure protection continues to be applied post-Brexit.  

Patrick Salmon, who took over in late 2016, said: “It is really exciting news. The thing that most impressed me was their excitement and realisation that they were able to stock something that has PGI, given that there are only 80 in the whole country and only one in the whole of Lincolnshire. They were thrilled by that.

“They have a proper love local approach and offer great support.” 

On sale now, it is packaged as a single portion of 230g. Mr Salmon said: “It won’t be cheap but it will be beautiful. I am not apologising, it won’t be for nothing, and it is 230g of protein that comes out of a smokehouse in the morning, is chilled, trimmed and vacuum-packed and distributed that afternoon. It doesn’t get better than that. 

“It won’t be making massive volumes, but every one on the shelf will be a real treat – if you are not going out for dinner, why not buy the best you can.” 

A first venture into retail, having earned the plaudits from the very top of the business, Mr Salmon said: “We agreed with The Co-op because it is more personable operation, and a great team. They have great offices in Lincoln, do lots of training and are quite happy to engage with some of the smaller producers.”

Lincolnshire Co-op’s on Wybers Wood, Coniston Avenue, Waltham and Holton-le-Clay are on the list. 

With the wider county being reached too, Mr Salmon is keen to spread the word further. He is one of 30 producers meeting the Government later this month.

“We need to protect a great UK brand,” he said. “Italy has 320 protected foods, France has 270, there are 80 in the UK but only one in Lincolnshire. 

“Fish is so important, we have a wonderful love of food production, and skills, and we really need to start singing about it. Those 100-odd fish vans disappear to the Home Counties, to Cheshire, and all of those guys have ‘Grimsby Fresh Fish’ emblazoned on the side of their vans, and are quite proud of it.

“We have to do what we can to wave the flag.”

Doing just that is Lincolnshire Co-op’s Love Local category manager, Judy Lyon. She said: “We’re excited to be stocking this renowned Grimsby product that is loved by many and we are proud to support Alfred Enderby by stocking it.

“We hope lots of our customers will enjoy the fantastic flavour and appreciate the hard work and skill that goes into making this traditional product.”

Aylesby-based SourceFour Ltd provided the first retail packaging design. Robert Pritchard, owner, said his firm were proud to be involved. 

Lincolnshire Co-op's Love Local range already includes Grimsby’s Chapman’s fish cakes.

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