It’s first in, best fed when it comes to seafood in the bush at Christmastime, but local suppliers are thanking their lucky stars it’s a different kettle of fish this year.
With Christmas Day early in the week this year, customers have been all too aware time is short to get everything organised.
So they’ve been wisely thinking ahead and placing their orders well in advance, Kay’s Wholesale Meats manager Trevor Davis said.
A shipment from Mooloolaba Fisheries arrived on Thursday morning and another is due on Monday, bring all the fishy festive favourites.
“We’ve been pretty lucky in terms of our busy-ness,” Mr Davis said.
“Because Christmas is on a Tuesday, people have been coming in this whole week, rather than leaving it to the last minute and having big line-ups.”
Kaytering Supplies manager Corey Le Man said Thursday’s truck had brought in “at least a tonne of seafood”, although that was for both the catering and retail sides of the business.
“It’s been going really well; we got a lot of preorders nice and early,” Mr Le Man said.
“The most popular are the tiger prawns, then salmon fillets.
“The prawns are already cooked, ready to go, and the salmon they’d probably cook on the barbie, I’d reckon.”
The weather up north had pushed up prawn prices, as well as “having a bit of an effect” on the availability of crabs.
“We haven’t been able to get the blue swimmers we usually do; they’ve been affected by the storms and heat and haven’t produced like they should have,” Mr Le Man said.
Mr Le Man said his own Christmas spread would include “a bit of seafood, the old ham, all that”.
Seafood was perennially popular, he said, because it was “nice, chilled and refreshed”.
“It’s not too heavy; it’s quite a nice, light meal.”
As for the land-based meat, such as ham and lamb, he said Kays tried to keep it close to home.
“It’s what we’re about: keeping it local,” he said.
“It keeps everyone in business, it’s fresh, it’s quality, it’s good logistics and it keeps that small circle happening locally.
“Some people do ask where the meat’s from … I think customers do prefer to shop local with the conditions we’re all facing.”
Mr Davis said ham sales tended to start off a bit slowly.
“Each day it picks up more and more; everyone tries to win a ham in the raffles, then they start coming in to buy one.”
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