A husband and wife team are looking to roll out their seafood restaurant concept in affluent areas across the country after opening their second site in Cheshire.
Luxury seafood restaurant Fisk was launched by Stuart and Kanyana Williams in Harrogate two years ago. Recently they opened the doors to a second restaurant in Cheshire. The couple are now looking at further sites.
Mr Williams has a background in software while his wife, who is originally from Thailand, was previously running a fashion business in the North West.
However, Mrs Williams always wanted to run her own restaurant and when the opportunity presented itself to work together they decided to launch Fisk.
Mr Williams told The Yorkshire Post: “We got married 15-16 years ago. Kanyana is from Thailand. She had a fashion business – a shop in the Northwest – but she always wanted to open up a restaurant.
“Her parents were also chefs back in Thailand so when I finished my business I said let’s open up a restaurant.”
Before opening Fisk, the couple travelled the world to get a better understanding of food. While on their travels they realised that seafood was the best way to go for their new venture.
It enabled them to craft an innovative menu, Mr Williams says, and do something that is “quite modern”.
The name Fisk, which translates into fish in Norwegian, came as a coincidence.
Mr Williams said: “The name came to me one night. I just suddenly thought of it and then realised that Fisk was the Norwegian word for fish.” He added: “We opened in Harrogate in 2016. It’s a very competitive market but we’ve done well. It’s been as successful in Prestbury.”
The business has been self-funded, Mr Williams says, however it has been given a £25,000 advance by payment platform iZettle.
The tech company will takes a percentage from payments that will eventually pay off the advance.
While other restaurants take a more traditional white linen cloth approach, Mr Williams says, Fisk is about modern dishes with a modern atmosphere.
“With seafood people are perhaps scared to cook at home,” the restaurant owner said. “Everyone loves seafood but they don’t seem to cook it at home.”
Fisk changes its menu every three months, Mr Williams says, “so it can be quite innovative”. But the firm tries to keep its signature dishes.
The partnership between the couple “couldn’t work better”, according to Mr Williams.
He said: “I can’t cook so I don’t go into the kitchen. She creates the dishes and trains the chefs. I tend to look after everything else. We don’t really interfere with each other’s work.”
Despite the successful working partnership, Mr Williams does admit that it can be hard to switch off.
The duo know everything about the business. As they look to open more restaurants, there is an acceptance that they will have to delegate responsibility.
An eye on the world stage
One of the main aims of Fisk is to establish a series of restaurants. The business is looking at sites in the south east.
The immediate focus for expansion is the UK but Stuart Williams is open to taking the restaurant abroad.
Fisk has already attracted interest from Dubai and the Middle East alongside Northern Europe and are markets he believes the restaurant could do well in. Mr Williams, originally from Harrogate, said: “What we are doing now, we’re confident we can copy that across.”
However, the restaurant owner has vowed not to become complacent as they grow.