A pitstop to the future: the world’s first Virtual Fishmonger

A pitstop to the future: the world’s first Virtual Fishmonger

Tearing up the seafood rulebook 

At Rockfish our ambition is and always has been to change the way we experience seafood in this country. We’re an island nation and yet for some daft reason, we have limited access to the fabulous fish we have swimming just off our shores. So often are we fobbed off with second-rate fish, industrially caught, and processed through wasteful supply chains. Supermarkets sell fish caught abroad, that’s been frozen and defrosted to seem ‘fresh’. Meanwhile, the glorious bounty of our home fishing fleet is exported, because of some twisted belief that British people don’t want to eat British fish.

At Rockfish, we just don’t believe that this is true. We Brits always used to eat our own fish. Take coley, for example, an abundant fish caught here in the UK, once a cornerstone of the national diet. So fundamental was coley to the British menu it earned itself over 52 regional names. Do we ever see coley on a menu today? Do we squat.

Rockfish is about rebuilding that culture of fish eating. Reconnecting people with the fruits of our shores. What started with a restaurant is now nine, along the south coast. With three more opening this year.

Then came the Online Seafood Market – a service set on delivering fish of unbeatable freshness to people’s doors nationwide, at an unmatched standard and quality. Online we sell 47 (and soon more!) different species of British caught fish seasonally throughout the year. In two years of operation, we’ve delivered to over 8,000 homes nationwide. That’s more than 500 tonnes of fish!

And now, we announce the launch of our latest collaboration: our Virtual Fishmonger, with the Westmorland Family.

The world’s first Virtual Fishmonger at Gloucester Services

Few of us when taking the slog along the M5 can resist stopping in at the famous Gloucester Services – voted the nation’s best motorway pit stop – for a hot sausage roll doused in mustard, seasonal salad, or punnet of juicy fresh strawberries.

Part of the Westmorland Family Group - the genius curators of high-end motorway pitstops nationwide - Gloucester Services is an institution.

The Virtual Fishmonger is a Rockfish, Westmorland love child. It’s what happens when you combine their skill at giving a quality experience with proper food, and our ambition to supply amazing British fish all in together in a motorway service station shaped cocktail shaker. The results are nothing short of future defining.

Seafood at a service station? How the devil does that work

It’s quite simple really, fish is best fresh. It’s just a fact of the food that the second a fish comes out of the water the clock starts ticking. So, you have two options, blast-freeze your fish straight away to lock in its freshness for another day. Or eat it as soon as possible!

Wasting precious time moving fish up and down the country does not help in the fight against the clock. With the Virtual Fishmonger, we avoid all that.

Imagine you’re enjoying a pitstop at Gloucester Services. Perhaps you’re going on holiday and want some fresh fish to dine on whilst you’re away? Or you’re travelling home and want to send something to your hosts to thank them for having you.

Rather than picking up some sorry plastic-wrapped fish and squishing it into your hot car somewhere between a screeching child and the spare wheel, you could just order it and have delivered the very next day.

On big screens at our Gloucester Services kiosk, we’ll advertise fish landed that day, so fresh they won’t have even left the harbour! All you do is order at the till, and we’ll ship straight to wherever you are going. It is that easy. 

Lifting the bin lid on our 100% zero waste seafood supply chain

Long, complex supply chains are accountable for a huge quantity of wasted seafood. So much so that big fish retailers accommodate the cost of wasted fish into their pricing models. It’s to the extent that some research suggests nearly 35% of all seafood landed is wasted before it reaches a waiting plate. 

At Rockfish we do away with all of that. No complicated supply chains, and no waste! Instead, we’re set up on the quayside in Brixham, just 17 meters away from where much of the fish we sell are landed. This gives us the pick of the crop and allows us to prepare the very best seafood from the moment it reaches land.

When you shop at Rockfish, you can be confident that no fish we touch will ever get wasted. Call us old fashioned but we want fish on your plates not in our bin!

Bring on the ice age - the future is frozen

Central to our zero-waste supply chain is blast-freezing. Anything we’re not shipping out to you that day or serving in one of our restaurants is instantly blast-frozen, to be sold as frozen. On our Online Seafood Market, you can order frozen fish, that will arrive to you still frozen. This gives you the choice of popping it into your deep freeze or defrosting it for eating.

Across central Europe – where fish is richly celebrated – a modern style of fishmonger has taken route. Many fishmongers over there have done away with the traditional wet fish counter, and replaced them instead with large glass topped freezers, selling blast-frozen fish. Inspired, we thought we’d offer the same at Westmorland’s Gloucester Services, as well as having the ability to order the freshest fish delivered to you anywhere in the country, you can also buy fish straight out of our freezers, with the knowledge that once defrosted it will be as good as the day it was caught.