This Exmouth fish shop relies on your vote to help them reel in a national award

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 April 2018

Owner of Fish on the Quay, Simon Ridler (right) with Gary Nickells, who helps him run the business. Picture by Simon Ridler.

Owner of Fish on the Quay, Simon Ridler (right) with Gary Nickells, who helps him run the business. Picture by Simon Ridler.


An Exmouth fish shop has made the shortlist for a prestigious national award – but whether it wins could depend on your vote.

Simon Ridler, 43, has run Fish on the Quay with his friend Gary Nickells since taking it over along with Exmouth Mussels, a year and a half ago.

Ands since then his combination of fish-mongering and chef skills and Gary’s butchery skills, have proved a hit with customers, transforming the former ‘Exmouth Fisheries’ into something unique.

As well as serving fresh, locally-caught fish, Simon prepares ready-meals from scratch and advises customers on how to cook and prepare their fish.

He said: “We make lots of stuff, like some fish dishes that are quite finicky to make and that is good for people on their own.

“There’s no processing – we make them just as you would make them at home. It’s nice that people keep on buying it.”

And on May 24, the shop could be celebrating the best catch ever: being named Independent Fresh Fish Retailer of the Year, at the Fishing News national awards ceremony, in Aberdeen.

Simon explained what it would mean to him if Fish on the Quay beat the competition and won the award.

He said: “It would mean a great deal; it would mean all the hard work we have put in has paid off.

“I work nearly every day here, so it’s nice to get recognition – especially for something of my own.

“I used to work at Greendale, which won best fish monger, but this is my achievement – it’s personal.”

The public vote ends at midnight, on April 27 and people in Exmouth still have the power to influence the outcome.

Simon said: “It really does come down to how many people vote and the other four towns are a bit bigger than Exmouth!

“I think we should have a fish shop in Exmouth – it is necessary due to the fishing fleet here.

“Years ago it was the norm, and then came the supermarket fish monger, but now it’s gone back to the old way.

“I buy the fish off the boats here - the boats you see in the harbour - so it’s for them as well really. We have a low carbon footprint – it’s done a good 30 metres to get here!”

The winner will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony, at Hilton’s four-star Doubletree Hotel, in Aberdeen, which Simon will be attending on May 24.

To support Simon and vote for Fish on the Quay, visit

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