Founder of Fish For Thought
“The fishing industry is steeped in tradition, dating back centuries...”
Paul’s Cornish heritage dates back to the 1500’s but Fish for Thought dates from more recent times. Set up in 2007 Paul spotted an opportunity to disrupt the fish market and deliver fresh fish directly to the customer from the boats.
RI: What motivates you to innovate in your industry?
The fishing industry is steeped in tradition, dating back centuries. Over recent years it has had to evolve and adapt, although I think there is still a long way to go.
As a relative newcomer to the industry we have found ourselves constantly challenging why things are done like they are, and gradually we are starting to make the changes that we think should be made.
RI: What’s the innovation you’re most proud of?
Switching our online seafood deliveries to fully recyclable packaging! We are the only business in the seafood sector to have figured out how to move away from polyboxes to a recylable solution, which will make a huge difference.
RI: What or who inspires you?
I get inspired by many things: living in Cornwall close to the sea; the people I work with; people who succeed against the odds.
Leaders and companies that make a difference and challenge how things are done also inspire me, from Richard Branson, to Innocent, and Dollar Shave Club to Ella’s Kitchen, from Amazon to Apple……
I am also inspired by influencers including: Gary Vaynerchuk; Simon Sinek and Tim Ferris.
RI: What industry change was the biggest to you in the last few years?
Clearly the switch to online shopping and is transforming the retail landscape. This coupled with the exponential growth of social media and digital marketing is changing the way businesses operate in a very exciting way.
RI: How did you overcome it?
We were the very first Online Seafood business, certainly in the UK and possibly in the world, originally started by Jeff and Barbara Martin. We took on a small business committed to marry the expertise and personal service of a traditional fishmonger, with the speed and convenience of online shopping and direct delivery. We are very much still work in progress, with a very long way to go!
RI: What industry challenge would you most like to solve?
Sustainability is at the heart of our industry and we are committed to having a major impact in this area. We are about to launch a new website and have taken a very firm line on the products that we will offer. We have also been awarded MSC Certification for a range of products.
RI: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a fresh innovator starting out in your industry?
I think Why? Is an under-rated question. It is what we all used to constantly ask as children and somehow it gets drummed out of us as we get older.
My advice is constantly ask ‘Why’ – very often there is no legitimate reason!
And don’t be over-impressed by ‘experts’!
RI: Do you have any particular routines that help you find inspiration?
I find exercise and walking by the sea helps clear my mind and inspires me at the same time.
RI: What does the future hold for your business? What products or innovations do you have in the pipeline?
We are in the throes of a full relaunch, which is very exciting, and have lots of plans in the pipeline. They are, at this time confidential though…..sorry!
RI: What technologies do you think will shape the future of your industry?
I think the traditional retail model is broken and the growth of direct to consumer online businesses will prevail.
The mega-trends will continue to gain traction: real provenance; health and wellbeing; sustainability; and convenience. We are working really hard to ensure that Fish for Thought remains a thought leader and innovator in all of these areas.
RI: What do you think will be the next big thing in your industry this year?
I very much hope it is Fish for Thought!
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