Updates since our SME Focus in the Scottish Herald in 2014.
We love this article written by Mark Williamson. The photos were fantastic and the content really summed up
where we were at, pre-trading. Lots of things have changed since then and we wanted to give our customers and supporters an update. Well for a start Errin is now 40! Older and, hopefully, wiser! The Lobster Pod shellfish storage and transport system is now sold through our original sister company Todd Fish Tech. All of our fantastic products are now under the one roof.
There has been lots more research and development on the product and our customer’s feedback and ideas have informed some improvements. The Lobster Pod now comes in a number of standard sizes including full height systems to make the most of your space and vehicle height and our half-height system which is handier if you are accessing the stock regularly e.g. in a fishmongers. We have included bigger sumps to ensure when the fish boxes are emptied you do not lose the salt water as many of our customers use sea mix with tap water and this is too expensive to throw down the drain. Many of our customers are near the sea but we are noticing many merchants are moving to industrial units which are not near the sea but are cheaper to rent. We now integrate our filtration into each Pod. This is more efficient and means less pipework and time for installation (passing on savings to the customer as time is money). We also do a range in polypropylene as well as the original fibreglass model. This is manufactured in-house and is lighter which has many benefits especially in transport mode.
We have drilled down the environmental benefits of the Lobster Pod too. Each lorry load of lobsters saves £250 of fuel per trip from Glasgow to Barcelona. It achieves this as it is lighter than traditional vivier systems. It also saves 670Kg of carbon emissions. Added to the increased survival rates of 99% (saving on average £12,500) and the benefits are beginning to stack up for our customers and for the environment.
We are now a team of four creating high value jobs for graduates at our base in Fife. Dr Keith Todd, my husband and co-inventor, is now with us full-time. Our start-up funding came from Scottish EDGE, a fantastic funding competition in Scotland which supports new entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. I had hoped to raise angel investment and although we had offers we could not find the right deal at the time. The support I received from Business Gateway Fife and E-Spark really helped me to accelerate the business and make wise decisions early on. We have built a great team with a small core of smart advisors and are creating strong foundations for our future growth. We are now account managed by Scottish Enterprise.
Our mission is still the same – to create innovative technology for the shellfish industry to help our customers be more efficient, waste less, improve the quality of seafood and be more profitable.
The main change is that I am no longer chasing the millions but keen to develop a sustainable business. The people in our business are the most important – the fantastic team, local suppliers and superb customers. Our products are in demand as they really help our customers and solve real world problems. We like to ‘give back’ to our supporters by ‘paying it forward’ for example by coaching applicants to Scottish EDGE. And finally, we aim to care more for our environment and have some ideas of how we can really enhance the shellfish fisheries using our latest lobster hatchery technology to re-stock fisheries under pressure. The shellfish revolution has started!
Errin Todd at Pittenweem Harbour