Nestled by the harbour side of the fish market lies Mackays’ latest supplier feature, Scrabster Seafoods. Established since the late 1960s, the family run business operates as a seafood supplier wholesaler in the area of Scrabster, which is world renowned for its prime seafood.
Specialising in whitefish and shellfish, Scrabster Seafood offers a wide array of produce. Having won the Caithness Business of the Year, Mackays are proud to host their award-winning produce as some key features on the No.1 Bistro menu!
You’ve heard that Mackays offers the finest and freshest quality produce in all of our meals at the No.1 Bistro. Now hear the journey from yourselves from William Calder, owner of Scrabster Seafoods.
Where did the story of Scrabster Seafoods all start?
The business of Scrabster Seafoods was established in the late 60s by my father, William Calder. Fishing roots are buried deep in my family, with my grandfather working as a fisherman and owning three boats. My father was the youngest of four sons, with the elder three brothers moving on to own their own boats.
After years at sea on our family boats, my father decided he would start marketing the boats catch, with the purpose of gaining a better price for our own produce. The company progressed from these early steps, whereby Scrabster Seafood began buying and selling produce from other boats at a fair price.
What would you say makes your company special?
Operating as the second generation in a family owned company and the longest established sea food company in northern Scotland has its benefits. We own all of our own fishing vessels and supply directly from our vessels to customers. This ensures that the chain of custody during supply is never broken.
Everything we catch comes into our purpose-built factories. These are the only purpose-built modern factories in North Scotland that are processing seafood. Everything is done in house and delivered out by our own vans. This entire process ensures that the procurement and chain of custody is not broken from catch to sale and it is through this that we are able to guarantee quality.
What would you say are the benefits of owning a business in Caithness?
For a seafood business the best thing about being based in Caithness is that you are close to the fishing grounds. The range and quality of seafood in Caithness is second to none.
That being said, the location can prove challenging when trying to deliver the fish to our international customers. (Scrabster Seafood deliver globally, as far a field as China, Spain and France)
With Mackays being based in Wick, you do not suffer this problem. More often than not, the fish that is served on your plate has been swimming twelve hours ago, ensuring a fresh flavour of the finest fish available.
What are your favourite hidden gems in Caithness?
Caithness is full of fantastic places. What I enjoy about Caithness as a whole is that it is open and spacious. Unlike the hustle and bustle that you perhaps get in other places, in Caithness you can go for long walks without fearing any interruption. There are places such as Duncansby Stacks or Dunnet beach that I particularly enjoy visiting. But, in general it is the vastness and openness of the whole county which makes it special.