A Caithness based processor and supplier of locally sourced shellfish is to further expand its premises to help manage the growing worldwide demand for its products.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting JPL Shellfish with a grant of £60,000 which will also allow the company to increase its workforce.
Situated at Scrabster Harbour, and established in 1992, JPL Shellfish serve customers across the UK and beyond. The company expanded its premises in 2012 and has since increased the number of staff from six to 32.
JPL Shellfish want to develop the business further to keep up with the worldwide demand for its range of products which include live lobster and crab, mussels, langoustines and lemon sole.
The business is run by husband and wife John and Christina Logue. It began as a local agent for a large shellfish export company based in central Scotland, however broke away to establish its own customers in Europe where weekly exports of live winkles were delivered.
In 2011, the company upscaled their current offering to the export markets and now sells overseas to 10 countries around the world, including France, Spain and Portugal, direct to restaurants and wholesalers looking for a range of live shellfish products.
The company currently also operates as a wholesaler and retailer with a fish shop in Thurso and fish vans in Inverness.
HIE has been working with JPL to develop further growth opportunities.
Laura Gunn, Development Manager at HIE, said: “We are delighted that JPL’s growth in Scrabster over the last years has exceeded expectations and we are pleased to support the latest expansion. HIE will continue to work with the company to realise even further growth opportunities for this area. With the company breaking into new international markets, its success is showing the world the quality of the shellfish we have here in the Highlands.”
John Logue, from JPL Shellfish, said: “Although the interest in our products is increasing, we are restricted to the amount we can supply because of lack of space in our current premises. The exporting side of the business has really taken off in the last couple of years. We recently showcased our products in Asia where we received a tremendous amount of interest in our products.”
This expansion project seeks to help the company expand by providing increased storage capacity for their stock, expansion of the processing area and enhanced packaging facilities.
JPL has also been working with Scottish Development International (SDI) to expand its global reach in new markets including South East Asia, where JPL recently supplied shellfish at The World Gourmet Summit, Singapore’s annual flagship gastronomic event which showcases the craftsmanship of award winning, Michelin and celebrity chefs.
Megan Donnachie, Senior International Trade Advisor at SDI, said: “JPL’s premium quality shellfish is a perfect match for Singapore – a market that demands perfection on a plate. Our objective as the official seafood sponsor of the World Gourmet Summit was to raise awareness of Scotland’s phenomenal seafood industry and JPL certainly helped us achieve this.”
As a result of the event, SDI was able to help JPL secure business from a major importer in Singapore.