Morgan’s Fine Fish, a long-established family seafood business based in Omeath, Co. Louth, were successful in launching their first ever ready to cook product range ‘Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen’ this year with support from the Taste 4 Success Skillnet ReBound programme, supported through the Skillnet Ireland ReBound initiative.Focusing specifically on SMEs in the food, agri-food, seafood and beverage sector, the Taste 4 Success Skillnet ReBound programme has been a vital support to Morgan’s Fine Fish as Gillian Morgan, New Product Development Manager explains;
‘Morgan’s Fine Fish has been a family business for 160 years and we have been supplying seafood to retailers and foodservice customers for over 30 years. We have faced many challenges over that time, but nothing could have prepared us for COVID-19. We had spent considerable time and investment in developing our first ready to cook retail range just before the pandemic hit’.
‘With restrictions ruling out in-store tastings, we had a significant challenge ahead of us to get this range to market. Funding from Taste 4 Success Skillnet and excellent training from our mentor Vivienne Gleeson helped us to develop our Communications strategy. This allowed us to move on to secure PR expertise to successfully launch Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen’ Since the official launch in mid-september, Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen has continued to achieve positive customer reviews, media coverage and increasing listings in select Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and Independent stores throughout Ireland.
Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen is a range of three complete seafood meals for one including Katsu Fish Curry, Caribbean Prawns and Spicy Lemongrass and Lime Seafood. Each meal contains quality raw seafood with fresh vegetables from Country Fresh in Dundalk, a nutritious and tasty sauce and a portion of basmati rice. With an average of only 360 calories per meal, this low fat, high protein range appeals to busy professionals, parents and health conscious consumers who want a healthy delicious meal in minutes.
The ReBound programme ran from June to October and is one of many initiatives run by Taste 4 Success Skillnet which is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland. The focus was on assisting SMEs in implementing the ‘Return to Work Safely’ Protocol and to help these businesses navigate a secure recovery. A wide range of programmes were offered ranging from developing a Communications and PR strategy, to examining new roles and competencies for owner/managers, and the ever-popular business recovery series.
In addition to the ReBound programme, Gillian Morgan also benefited from a place on the Taste 4 Success Skillnet Masterclass series in partnership with Trinity College Dublin – Tangent, Trinity Ideas Workspace.
Gillian Morgan added; ‘Innovation is a key part of any business and as we work with a highly perishable product, innovative ways of prolonging shelf life, packaging and logistics are always top of the agenda for us. To get further support from Taste 4 Success Skillnet to upskill in this area and to become a professional alumni of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace is an amazing achievement for me personally and for the company’.
Bridie Corrigan Matthews, Network Manager for Taste 4 Success Skillnet explains how Skillnet Ireland has adapted its services during the pandemic to provide targeted and practical supports;
‘Our main focus pre-COVID was on training and upskilling SMEs on a range of business areas. This work continues; however, we have also added a number of key initiatives to advise and financially support SMEs so they can continue to do business during COVID.’
‘We are delighted to have supported 500 food companies to date, including Morgan’s Fine Fish, through our Taste 4 Success Skillnet programme offering. As a country, we produce excellent and innovative produce, and whilst the current business environment for the agri-food sector is challenging, our focus is to help food producers and companies navigate current difficulties and build their capability to thrive in the future’.
For further information on Morgan’s Fine Fish and their new product range visit www.morgansfinefish.com
For information on current supports for SMEs from Taste 4 Success Skillnet, please visit www.taste4successskillnet.ie