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29 March, 2022

Small business named best seafood in Queensland

AFTER opening their doors 10 years ago, Malanda Seafood has been recognised as one of the best seafood shops in Queensland, winning the Queensland Seafood Industry Business Award (small).

By Rhys Thomas

Malanda Seafood has been recognised as one of Queensland’s best seafood shops after winning the Queensland Seafood Industry Business Award (small business). Owners Karen Miller (pictured) and Mark Gray have owned the business for 10 years and have prided themselves on a local focus and “on deck” approach.

Husband and wife team, Mark Gray and Karen Miller have spent years in the seafood business, utilising Mark’s passion of fishing to provide seafood to their friends and others at events. 

Word of mouth quickly spread , growing their reputation of providing quality seafood and after Karen drove past an empty Malanda storefront 10 years ago, the decision was made to open Malanda Seafood. 

“I entered back into the workforce as an accounts officer and just went ‘yeah no this is not where I want to be’,” Karen said. 

“I drove past this empty shop and just envisioned it and created it. 

“We were already suppling seafood to our own contacts, to their friends, and their staff parties then their neighbour, it just snowballed.” 

Since running their business, Karen said the customer satisfaction and feedback has always been positive, however, to win this award shows the service Malanda Seafood provides is top level across Queensland.

In order to be nominated for the Business Award (small), Malanda Seafood needed to be employing less than 10 full time staff, demonstrate business growth, innovation, excellence in product, service and marketing and contributed towards a positive public profile for the seafood industry. 

Karen attributes their shops success to their quality control and focus on locals, with Mark having 32 years of experience in fishing, he is on deck himself to ensure the seafood they catch is of the highest quality. 

“We maintain quality by staying with the same suppliers that share our same ethics,” she said. 

“One of our points of difference is that Mark is actually the one catching it, so there’s that level of quality control. 

“Our son has been fishing with is dad since he was probably seven, he’s now fishing with his dad this year as well, third generation. 

“We’ve always said we’re reef guardian fishers, we’re there for the sustainability, we’re not just there for the short term.” 

Karen said while winning the award was great for the business, it was also a great tribute to the town who have supported Malanda Seafood over the years. 

After winning the Queensland award, Malanda Seafood has earned a spot in the National Seafood Awards due to be held in September.

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