As a little boy growing up in Grimsby, the fishing industry was a huge part of Lewis Sparkes’ life.
His grandfather was a fisherman aboard a massive trawler – heading out to the North Sea for a week at a time and his father still runs a fish processing factory ‘Jaines Seafood’. Lewis’ childhood memories are of waking at the crack of dawn and heading to the docks with his dad for the fish auctions.
Now the 31-year-old runs his own fish shop on Stoke Newington’s Church Street selling top quality sustainably sourced fish - and he’s named it after the family business Jaines & Son. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.
He said: “In Victorian times Grimsby was beautiful – full of Victorian buildings but by the time I was growing up there much of it was wasteland. The dock area though is still buzzing. As a child I’d go there with dad while he bid for fish in the auction. They have their own lingo and some people buy tens of thousands of pounds worth of fish.
“Dad’s factory is pretty close to the dock – he employs around 50 people, filleting, gutting and packing fish into boxes ready for wholesale. I helped out there from the age of six or seven, weighing fish and cleaning it. I’d work there every summer holiday for years – trying to save enough money for guitars!”
When he’s not running the shop, he plays lead guitar on heavy psychedelic rock band The Nothing Heads and performs regularly in and around Hackney. He’s been in bands since the age of 17.
Before launching the fishmongers, Lewis worked front-of-house in restaurants and gastropubs but he’d always wanted to open a shop. He added: “Having grown up around fish, this seemed like the next natural step.”
Lewis, who has a degree in Environmental Sustainability, only stocks sustainable fish – it’s delivered fresh every day and is never frozen. Some of it comes from his Dad’s business. Any fish that’s left at the end of the day is donated to Hackney Migrant Centre.
Jaines & Son, which has been running on Church Street for almost three years, has a good stock of fresh fish, including salmon, cod, haddock, bream, bass, rainbow trout, halibut, sashimi tuna, hake, sole, monkfish and fish pie mix as well as a range of top-quality shellfish. It’s all ethically sourced using non-destructive fishing methods.
Lewis has recently launched a home-delivery service.
Info at: jainesfish.com
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