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Top catch: business lands top seafood industry award

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A renowned seafood retailer on the Sunshine Coast has been adjudged Queensland’s best takeaway fish and chip shop.

Fisheries On The Spit, on Parkyn Parade at Mooloolaba, won the accolade at the biennial Queensland Seafood Industry Awards in Brisbane.

It’s now in the running for the national title, to be presented in Tasmania in September.

The business’ general manager Paul Schenk said winning the state award was “amazing”.

He said the shop, which serves about 500 people per day, was “much more than just fish and chips”.

“It’s also the location, the atmosphere and our engagement with customers,” he said.

“It’s a place where people come together, we’ve got a beautiful beach across the road and a river behind us.

“We’ve got all the elements that allow us to be a great destination.”

The business has operated for more than 40 years.

It includes a restaurant, takeaway, seafood market and wholesale services. It sent a tonne of Mooloolaba prawns to the United States on Wednesday and has a foot in the door to one of the biggest markets in the world.

He said customers relished their takeaway options, especially fish and chips.

“That would be equal to our calamari and chips, which we’re well known for,” he said.

Cod is its most popular takeaway fish, but patrons also go for barramundi, goldband snapper, flake, flathead, spanish mackerel and salmon.

Related story: Former TV star chef returns to Coast role

Mr Schenk said the fish was high quality.

“It’s local, as much as we can get, and it’s line caught and wild caught,” he said.

“We have a full processing facility on site, so as soon as the fish comes off a boat it goes into processing with our team. It’s in the best care from there on.

“Nobody does what we do. The processing is phenomenal. It’s fast.

“And our access to fish is phenomenal.”

He said that was due to a strong connection with local fishers.

“It’s not just a matter of getting fish: it’s not that easy,” he said.

“You’ve got to build relationships with them (the fishers) and pay them what you think the fish is worth, otherwise they will move on.

“We seal those long-term relationships, based on trust and how much we’re willing to pay.

“We respect local fishermen and work hard with them.”

Mr Schenk also said the store’s chips were top notch.

“We use an Australian chip, whereas a lot of places don’t,” he said.

“We have a long-term contract with a Victorian chip maker. It’s not a big company: it’s a family-owned business we deal with directly.”

Mr Schenk said there was nothing like getting takeaway from the store.

“Whether it’s a kilo of prawns, a dozen oysters or fish and chips, you can take it across to the park with a cold one and, happy days, it doesn’t get any easier and any better than that.”

Fisheries On The Spit General Manager Paul Schenke with seafood processing supervisor Brian Deacon.

Judges’ comments were full of praise for the business.

“Fisheries On The Spit embodies excellence in fish and chips,” they said.

“With over four decades of operation, this family-owned establishment has become a Queensland institution, known for its commitment to quality, sustainability and customer satisfaction.

“Their dedication to sourcing 100 per cent Australian wild-caught seafood ensures freshness and supports local fisheries.

“Moreover, their innovative offerings like the Mooloolaba Schnitty and Taste Bombs showcase their creativity while minimising waste.

“By retaining loyal team members and consistently delivering exceptional service, Fisheries On The Spit contributes significantly to the positive public profile of the seafood industry.

“Fisheries On The Spit is a standout in the fish and chips industry, deserving recognition for its unwavering commitment to excellence.”

Fisheries on The Spit was also a finalist for best large seafood business at the awards, which were hosted by the Queensland Seafood Marketers Association.

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