Introducing Fish For Thought

Sustainability, Provenance, Health & Convenience – Fish For Thought

Paul Trudgian, founder of Fish For Thought is proud of his Cornish roots and although he was brought up outside the county, he was always drawn back to Cornwall with his love of the ocean and fishing.

“For my last role in big businesses I was tasked with closing a site and this was my catalyst for change,” Paul recalls. “With 3 children under 5 and my incredibly supportive wife, Lucy, we made the decision to move to Cornwall 17 years ago and figured we would work out what to do once we got settled. We just knew this was where we wanted to be.”

Paul had always loved the ocean and fishing and with his background in food manufacturing, he started to consider how he could bring those things together from a business perspective. “Whilst spending time in the fishing industry, I was shocked by some of the practices, especially when it comes to sustainability and provenance. It still amazes and appalls me that 80% of the seafood we enjoy in the UK is imported and 80% of the seafood we land is exported.

“I also found, and still find, that whilst everyone talks about sustainability in our industry, actions and words are rarely aligned. Here in Cornwall we have an incredibly diverse range of quality fish and seafood right on our doorstep and I wanted to create a business that celebrated that.”

And so in 2007 Fish for Thought was born.

It started with two men, a portacabin, some knives, a fridge and a van and a commitment to delivering high quality seafood from the local markets to local hotels and restaurants in Cornwall.

“Sustainability and provenance were top of our agenda from the very start and we work closely with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Good Seafood Guide.”

In 2009 the business went online and expanded its service to deliver nationwide to customers at home.

“Sustainability and provenance were top of my agenda from the very start of Fish For Thought and I work closely with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Good Seafood Guide.

“As we continued expanding the business, we always wanted to work with other like minded suppliers and businesses who are equally passionate about sustainability and celebrating what’s great about Cornish and British food.”

And passionate Paul is, he admits that some of the decisions he has made to ensure the sustainability of our sea life have not always been the best decisions for the bottom line of the business, but he remains steadfast and today is just as happy to be judged by what they will not sell.

“I remember talking to one chef, whose signature dish included a fish that we had made the decision to stop supplying for ethical reasons. We talked to her about the reasoning behind our decision and she changed that signature dish to monkfish.”

“When the pandemic hit, we lost 75% of our business overnight and of course we were owed a lot of money from hospitality businesses that were forced to close. We decided to simplify our offering and focus on online, direct to consumer, fresh Cornish fish and seafood.

During this period our head chef, Brett Camborne-Paynter came onboard and helped us develop our first range of ‘cook at home’ products to add value to our fish and seafood offering.”

This meant people could cook restaurant quality meals at home and during a period of time when we were all forced to stay at home, these products proved to be hugely popular and helped Fish For Thought navigate the pandemic.

“As we came out of the pandemic we decided to grow this arm of the business. We know a lot of people love fish and seafood but don’t feel confident cooking it at home. We have developed a simple solution allowing people to cook sustainable seafood at home to a restaurant standard. It’s sustainable, healthy and convenient.”

“We are super excited to be stocking our range of cook at home products in the Great Cornish Food Store. This is our first retail adventure and it feels like the perfect fit, working with a store and a team that champion quality, local produce.”

The Great Cornish Food Store has a wide of Fish For Thought products including soups, sauces and even fish pasties. Come into the store to take a look.