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3 September, 2021

Buy your seafood from a local supplier

PETER Adams from one of the region’s most popular seafood stores says while he is keen to see more shoppers spend their money in his outlet instead of the bigger stores, he does believe “we’ll never get them all.”

By David Gardiner

Peter, who runs Ocean World Seafood Market in Cairns North with wife Mende, have been able to sustain their trade in tough COVID times despite the huge downturn in tourism due to domestic and international border closures.

“Without tourism, we can still sustain on the local market because the local market is bigger than what it normally is,” Mr Adams said.

“We’ve probably stayed with the same number of staff, one extra or something, but no-one’s missed out.”

Ocean World Seafood have been able to maintain the same staff levels both when times are busy and quiet, mainly because of a dedicated local customer base.

“We’ve got to run at a certain level to cater for what we do.”

The shop has customers from not only around Cairns but also many of its surrounds, including the Tablelands and as far away as the Torres Strait Islands, from where orders constantly come in for functions
and events.

At this point, Mr Adams believes the seafood market is “well catered for in Cairns” and that locals are very supportive.

“You’ll still get that sector that will go to Coles and Woolies because of convenience,” but he says shoppers there will never get the local produce, quality, service and variety they can find at his store.

“Some people spend $200, some people spend five bucks, over an average it’s probably $50 a head.”

COVID has severely affected some food businesses, especially restaurants but for Ocean World, things have balanced out.

“I think everyone who lives here’s been associated with someone who’s had to cancel a holiday up here, but we replace that with the locals, the locals aren’t going down there either.”

Mr Adams does have concerns for the general tourism and hospitality industries, who he says cannot possibly be sustained with lockdowns. “The tourism and hotel industry – that’s where the town’s going to run out of money because no-one’s doing the jobs.

The money’s going to dry up because those staff aren’t getting wages.”

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