Coast & Glen owner expands into new factory

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coast & Glen owner Magnus Houston (right) has bought the former Summer Isle Foods site in Alness, Soctland
Coast & Glen owner Magnus Houston (right) has bought the former Summer Isle Foods site in Alness, Soctland
The owner of seafood processor Coast & Glen and home delivery service Fishbox has acquired a new factory and offices in Alness, Scotland, with plans to create new jobs.

Magnus Houston swooped on the site – formerly the home of producer Summer Isles Foods – before it was forced to close its doors due to financial difficulties, after production started to outgrow Coast & Glen’s current facilities in the same town.

Houston said he planned to offer employment to all former Summer Isles factory workers following the acquisition.

“The current facility has made it harder for Coast & Glen to maintain growth and we have had to turn down opportunities due to our production capacity,” ​said Houston.

“Now, we are full steam ahead, with our first orders going to New York and Paris this week and a trip booked to set up trade in Dubai in October.”

Jobs in the local community

Houston said the choice to take over the plant in Alness was fuelled by his dedication to supporting the local community with jobs, in an area that he grew up in.

This ideology also swayed him away from choosing to relocate to Glasgow, where the majority of fish processing in Scotland takes place, he claimed.

“This was the reason that I put a lot of time pressure on the people involved in the transition of the purchase of Summer Isles Foods,”​ he added.

“It had to be fast enough to retain the Summer Isles employees, keeping their jobs secure, which is just fantastic for us and the local area, and we look forward to creating more jobs and putting something back into the community.”

Supplies more than 300 hotels

Established in 2011, Coast & Glen supplies more than 300 hotels and restaurants in the Highlands and Islands and moved into the London market earlier this year.

Houston and his wife, Fiona, started Fishbox in 2014, a direct-to-consumer delivery service that sends out freshly caught fish across the UK within hours of it being landed.

Coast & Glen has a turnover of more than £2.2m, making a combined turnover of over £3m for both itself and Fishbox at the end of this year.

The company is set to receive its first shipment of king crab, which it claimed would make it the main distributor in the UK.

Houston is a former EY Entrepreneur of the year and Institute of Directors young director of the year.

Related topics: Seafood, Manufacturing

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