SEAFOOD lovers are early birds, or at least they were at Darren Ward’s seafood truck at the BP Viaduct in Tamworth on Christmas Eve.
When Darren arrived at 6am, he already had a heap of customers wanting to get their seafood fix nice and early to tick off their job list.
By the time Darren got set up at 6.30am, the queue had grown, but he didn’t mind. Christmas is about four or five times better than a normal week’s trading, which he said in Tamworth, was “pretty good anyway”.
“We get great support from the locals here all year round, but even more so at Christmas,” Darren said.
Prawns were top of the list for Christmas fare this year, but they were followed closely by crabs, lobsters and oysters, which adorned Christmas tables yesterday.
Prawns were selling from $29 to $35/kg, which Darren said was about $15 less than you’d pay on the coast at this time of year.
“I made a promise to my customers that they’d be a certain price and I’m sticking to it,” he said.
“I’m able to guarantee prices because I don’t have a middle man involved. This is straight from the trawler to the truck and onto Tamworth dinner tables.”
And you’d be hard pressed finding seafood fresher anywhere as Darren’s stock comes from his own trawlers, caught between Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. His catch is loaded straight onto the truck and he jumps behind the wheel and heads inland for Tamworth.
Darren was expecting to pack up shop about 5 or 6pm – but said that would depend on how his stock was going.
Once he closed, Darren was heading home for Coffs to spend Christmas with his family. He expected to be home about midnight – just as Santa was coming down the chimney.
I wonder if they leave seafood out for Santa at Darren’s place? Unless he put in an order last year, Santa might just have missed the boat!