The Keenan Family name has been associated with the fish business for three generations. T Keenan and Sons Fish Merchants Ltd was established in 1942 and now trades under the name Keenan Seafood Ltd and is led by Gerry Keenan, whose father and grandfather established the original business.
The Belfast- based company, which employs 30 people and operates from a modern purpose built facility at Kennedy Way just off the M1, specialises in supplying a full range of fresh and frozen seafood to many of the leading hotels, restaurants and contract catering outlets across N Ireland, delivered its own fleet of refrigerated vehicles. The factory is fully HACCP compliant and has the technical SALSA and STS Accreditations. The company has also achieved the Investors in People Standard.
Fresh fish is sourced each morning from the local ports of Kilkeel, Ardglass and Portavogie as well as from Scotland and the West of Ireland. Only the finest quality seafood is selected and transported to the company’s premises for further processing and order assembly. The company has a policy of trying to source as much local fish as possible including all shellfish, mussels oysters and scallops and whitefish such as cod, haddock, plaice, monks and prime fish. Exotic species such as seabass, tuna and stonebass are also imported each week from Turkey and further afield to meet the changing demands from customers.
The varieties and prices of fish available are sent to hotel and restaurant chefs early each morning so that they know what to put on their daily “specials board”.
Keenan Seafood, which sells around 250 lines of fresh and frozen fish, has its own team of expert fish filleters who prepare the fish each day to meet customer specifications. Alongside this, the company has its own smoking operation to produce popular brands of natural smoked cod, haddock and coley.
The company buys about 15 tons of fish every week to meet demand from its 500 plus customers across the catering and retail sectors. Customers include hotels, restaurants, food service outlets, cafes, fish and chip shops as well as contract caterers, schools and Health Board units throughout N Ireland. The company also produces a range of convenience fish products for supermarkets and independent retailers.
Much of the company’s recent growth has been through product development. Products such as its Irish Whiskey and Maple Cured Salmon and Traditional Natural Smoked Haddock have been successful in the Great Taste Awards. The company also sells a freshly battered cod fillet produced daily by the award winning Darren Raffo fish and chip shop and this has proved hugely successful with foodservice outlets.
“We have a very energetic, dedicated and committed team in the business who are central to driving the company forward. As people have become more aware of their health, and the benefits of eating fish have become more apparent, the company is well geared to take advantages of the growth opportunities in this sector” says Gerry Keenan, Managing Director.
Keenan Seafood Ltd’s mission is to “provide its customers with the highest standard of service and range of seafood products in a profitable and sustainable manner”.