Loch Fyne Oysters
Loch Fyne Oysters is a company which has expanded from farming and selling oysters to providing a range of seafoods, fish, meat and game. It founded the Loch Fyne restaurant chain which is now owned by Greene King; it still owns the Loch Fyne brand and supplies its products to the restaurant chain. The company continues to run the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar on the banks of the loch near Cairndow
The company takes its name from Loch Fyne, a sea loch on the west coast of Scotland. The business started life as an oyster farm in that loch. It was originally a joint venture by Johnny Noble, the owner of the nearby Ardkinglas Estate, and Andy Lane, a fish farmer and biologist. Initially the business sold their oysters to UK restaurants. In the early 1980s the company diversified into the supply of other seafood, and opened a smokehouse to smoke salmon and other fish.
In 1988 the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar was opened on the banks of the loch near Cairndow. The first Loch Fyne Oyster Bar away from the loch opened in Nottingham in 1990, followed by a second near Peterborough. Towards the end of the 1990s, the founders of the business began to look for partners to develop a larger restaurant chain and were joined by two entrepreneurs, Ian Glyn and Mark Derry. In 1998 the Loch Fyne Restaurant chain was founded, as a separately owned business using the Loch Fyne name under licence from Loch Fyne Oysters.
In 2002, Johnny Noble died and Loch Fyne Oysters was placed on the market. In 2003 it became an employee owned company, with its shares owned by 100 of its employees. Loch Fyne Oysters continues to run the Cairndow Oyster Bar, along with the oyster and mussel farms and smokehouses. It sells its product to the Loch Fyne Restaurant chain, to other restaurants, and over the internet.
As of 2007, the Loch Fyne Restaurant chain operated 38 restaurants across the UK. In August 2007, the restaurant chain (but not Loch Fyne Oysters) was bought by the Greene King Brewery for the sum of £68 million.
- "Loch Fyne Oysters and Restaurants - History". Loch Fyne Oysters. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "Loch Fyne oyster farm for sale". BBC. 2002-12-05. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "Loch Fyne Oysters". Co-operative Development Scotland. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "Greene King buys fish chain Loch Fyne for 68 mln stg". Reuters. 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2008-02-12.