Adam Riley cooks up a storm

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We are really pleased to see that one of our loan recipients, Adam Riley of Riley's Fish Shack, has been getting quite a bit of press coverage recently.

We sent out a press release to help Adam promote his new business, which is a pop-up cafe selling a wide range of locally caught fish and lobsters. Adam also runs the very popular Boiler Shop Steamer monthly event in Newcastle.

His story was covered by News Guardian, The Journal and Bdaily. A big thanks to those titles!


A Tynemouth creative entrepreneur’s fish shack business has proved a recipe for success with ambitious plans to expand and a successful event partnership already under his belt.

Thirty year old Adam Riley set up Riley’s Fish Shack as part of Tynemouth’s Food Festival in 2012 where he sold 40 kilos of fish and has exploited its potential ever since with a pop-up café at King Edward’s Bay every weekend this summer.  To grow his business he needed to have a permanent preparation area and a grant from Transmit Start-Ups has now funded a purpose-built kitchen and wet room near North Shields fish quay.

Adam’s Riley’s Fish Shack has proved so popular he is planning to have a café open sometime next year on both King Edward’s Bay and Cullercoats Bay, selling a wide range of locally caught fish and lobsters.

He said: “The Transmit Start-Ups loan has been a tremendous boost for my business as before I had my own kitchen I was travelling up to Heddon the Wall to use a farmer’s kitchen, so I was working really long days.  The fish is now brought in by North Sea fishermen, prepared by me and cooked with a really short space of time so customers are eating fish at its very best.  I started the fish shack due to the lack of fantastic local fish and it is great that people have welcomed my cooking with such enthusiasm.”

Damian Baetens, director, Transmit Start-Ups said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Adam’s business.  It has been really successful and we can see clearly how our loan has helped him move up a level.  He has spotted a gap in the market and gone for it.   He is going to go from strength to strength now he has his own premises. The world is his oyster, if you excuse the pun!”

Adam trained as a chef on the Isle of Man before returning to his native North East to join his father Ozzie Riley’s Dodgy Clutch creative business on projects such as the Viz Bus of Fools built for Newcastle’s New Year celebrations and was part of the creative team behind the life-size puppets in their play that hit broadway in 2010.  He also designed and delivered a number of other artistic commissions before creating his fish shack enterprise complete with Heath Robinson-type barbeque on a specially-designed bike.

Complimenting his fish shack is a joint venture with the Wylam Brewery called The Steamer which takes place the first Friday, every month at the Boiler House venue behind Newcastle Central Station.  This evening which runs from Friday at 6pm til midnight then from Saturday lunchtime until 11pm is an unique indoor event with live music and approximately seven or eight high quality food and drink stalls.  The stripped out building fitted out with make-shift tressle tables, old scaffold plank stools and artistic lighting has an outdoor/indoors feel.   There have been six of these events to date with more in the pipeline including Friday, 1 November, as each one has been filled to capacity.

Adam’s wife Lucy is also his business partner and helps with the back office administration as well as the food preparation.  They have two children, a little girl Bo, who is two and seven year old Ben who wants to make his own fish shack.

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