Former chef can’t wait to ‘sea’ how new venture goes down with town shoppers

PUBLISHED: 07:57 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:12 22 August 2019

Matthew Gurnett outside the new premises. Picture: ARCHANT

Matthew Gurnett outside the new premises. Picture: ARCHANT


A new fish and seafood shop will open its doors in Saffron Walden.

Saffron Fish Co, which will open in about two weeks, will be operating as a traditional fishmonger from its new home in George Street.

It will be selling fish, shellfish and all types of seafood, which will primarily be sourced from Britain.

The owner, Matthew Gurnett, 38, from Newport, said: "I have been living in Newport and have been a chef all my life. I have been having contacts at the Billingsgate in London, and some of the fish will be sourced from the Mersea Island.

"I will be selling whatever people want. The joy of having a shop is to go to the market and get whatever people want."

In order to make it taste even better, he intends to use his expertise from having been a chef for 20 years. He said: "It allows me to advise people with how to cook it and flavours to do with it."

He also aims to contribute to national and worldwide sustainability efforts by going plastic-free with his business.

"I think it's a bit hypocritical to sell fish in plastic," he said.

Matthew won a national seafood award at college where he cooked against other catering students from all round the country and had to use British seafood for a three-course meal. The competition was run by Seafish and it took place at Cambridge Regional College.

He is very optimistic about the move, saying: "I am excited, it's a big change of career for me but it's something I'm passionate about, so I am excited to see how I feel."

He thinks it is nice to have a traditional fishmonger in Saffron Walden, where his wife is from: "I have always lived in Newport, I think it's a very nice market town and I think there have been a lot of businesses opening in the past six months. I think people like to have someone they can speak to about the product, not just get it off the shelf."

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