The word ‘Sustainable’ is thrown around in almost every conversation about fishing, however ports such as Looe are the definition of Sustainable. These small, family-owned fishing boats go out early every morning and return on the tide that evening. These boats can only fish in fine weather, the way it should be. Fishing grounds need a break sometimes to help Fish Stocks replenish, the reality is that they are fished 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year by large fishing boats, which is completely unsustainable.
Hello all and thank you for visiting our website. My name is Sam Chapman, I have been in the fishing industry for most of my working life, I am from a family of Fisherman and Farmers, with deep roots into the history of Looe.
At the age of 18, I found myself short of work, and started on the quay as a ‘Box Washer’, not the most glamourous of jobs, running thousands of dirty fish boxes through a steam cleaning machine. I was barely earning a wage, but I fell in love with life on the quay. I quickly found myself helping others, whether it be helping boats land their catch, making skips of ice, or washing down the market, I took every opportunity and loved it.
My first real chance came when I was offered a job working for a local Fish Merchant, grading, packing and selling fish. I took every opportunity to learn the trade, and within 6 months I found myself being left to run the business. I instantly fell in love with the industry, as it was purely down to hard work, you didn’t need a degree, or financial backing, just good work ethic.
In 2016 I was offered the chance to purchase local business, Nippers Shellfish. It was here that I really found my feet, with the support of my wife we quickly quadrupled the size of the business, and within 2 years were processing 10 tons of crab a week… By hand!!
While Shellfish processing was not what I had imagined my business would revolve around, it opened up a whole world of opportunities.
We found ourselves supplying a vast array of Restaurants, Pubs, Cafes, Bistros & Farm Shops, and quickly began to expand our product list, after seeing a gap in the market for top quality fish.
In 2019 Looe Fish Selling closed it’s doors, closing the Fish Auction for good. This left the local boats with no choice but to transport their catch 20 miles to Plymouth, where it would be sold Online. For a few months we watched fish being landed at night, get dragged past us, and loaded onto a lorry, we would then buy it the next day and wait till lunchtime for us to get it back. This didn’t sit right at all with me, and we quickly began forming relationships with fisherman, taking their entire catch direct, outside of markets. This helped us get our hands on the best fish in the country, before anyone else had even seen it.
In 2021 I was joined by expert filleter David Wilson, who came on board and took us to a whole new level, his 45 years experience in the industry was something I was lacking, with a shared passion for the highest quality fish and his filleting skills that are unseen these days, we started moving forwards.
In 2022 my wife and myself were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, to purchase one of the most iconic fishmongers in the country.. Pengellys! We grabbed the chance with both hands, and have enjoyed supplying customers old and new at our shop!
See you dreckly,
Here at Pengellys Fishmongers we are committed to supporting the most sustainable fishing methods, which is why we depend on our local inshore fishing fleet to supply us with the highest quality products.
Over the years Looe has earned itself an impeccable reputation for the fish landed in this small port, and we strive to maintain this.
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