We are a family run business which been established since 1969 when my Dad started up on his own after a short and colourful partnership with his 2 brothers.
Originally working in his backdoor, as many merchants did, with a barrel, fridge and a "barra" to help load up their vans. There are still some "backdoors" at the Fit of the Toon but most have disappeared in recent years due to the new hygiene regulations now in place. Our premises, although still based in the traditional area, are fully modernised.
The main year round trade were the van "rounds", some of which have been handed down from times when the fish wives took the train to areas where fresh fish was not readily available. The fish wives loaded the fish into creels which they then carried on their backs around their customers. The days were long and it wasn't unknown for them to come back "worse for wear" after a day selling fish. This was usually due to a "wee dram" being had on the train home.
Many merchants used their family cars to sell the fish from during the week and for pleasure at the weekends. Ours was a Volvo estate which went to Aberdeen in the mornings to catch the markets with a trailer in tow. It was then was used to sell fish twice a week and after a very good clean was a family car at weekends.
Summer was always a busy time, especially during the Glasgow Fair, with bus trips of holiday makers all looking for Smokies to take home with them.
We also supplied many of the local chip shops and hotels with fresh fish on a daily basis.
Arbroath used to have a busy fishmarket with the bell being rung around the fit of the toon to signal a sale, sometimes twice a day. More recently Aberdeen and Peterhead provide us with most of our fish, but it has been known to have to go as far afield as Ireland for Haddocks during the spawning periods which is usually during April/May when the fish are in short supply.
Nowadays most of our business is retail with a number of vans covering as far afield as Pitlochry and Bathgate selling a variety of fish door to door.
We still produce smokies in the traditional way plus hot smoked salmon which is a new delicacy which you may enjoy.