The Romanian entrepreneur Sorin Barbu, founder of the Spanish restaurants chain Alioli in Bucharest, officially opens the gates of La Pescaderia, a combined concept of fishery store that holds the only restaurant in Europe supplied with fish and seafood directly from the port of Villajoyosa near Alicante, Spain.
It is for the first time in the decade-long history of this port when a non-Spanish private company has direct access to the daily auctions, and brings catch fish in the first hand, within 48 hours, without following the standard 4-step route: Port – Wholesale fish markets in Spain – Retail markets in Europe and Restaurant.
The port of Villajoyosa in Spain is one of the main providers of fish and seafood from where the big wholesale markets of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are supplied, and which are further the most important sources of fresh fish for countries such as France, Italy, the Netherlands and the whole Europe.
“This is indeed a historic moment for the restaurants industry in Europe and, as a Romanian, I am extremely pleased to place my country on the map of a key culinary industry in Spain. Our customers can now enjoy directly from the source the products served at 5 star restaurants in capitals with a strong culinary tradition. For the moment, we bring a monthly quantity of 1600 kg of fish, and we have about 30 fresh fishes and seafood varieties, among which specialties such as red shrimps and blue lobsters. The best-selling products are the red mullet, the black scorpionfish, the wild gilt-head bream, the blue fish, the extra squid, the octopus and the red shrimp”, declares Sorin Barbu (photo L), the founder of La Pescaderia by Alioli.
The concept of fishery -restaurant La Pescaderia has an open kitchen where the international chef of Italian origin, Andrea di Russo, personally cooks the fish products to be consumed on the spot or to be taken home. The main preparation methods focus on the Spanish and Portuguese specific on the stove top or in the oven.
An element of innovation is the investment made by Sorin Barbu in a livestreaming system that will soon allow customers to choose, in front of their laptop or mobile phone, the desired products, directly from the hauler, thus simulating the experience of choosing the products from the fish market.
“With this concept we have also assumed the mission of educating the Romanian market regarding the major difference that exists between aquaculture and capture fish for one’s health. Aquaculture fish consumes food containing fish and animal-based wheat flour, antibiotics and antidepressants because they live in reeds and tend to eat each other. The western countries stopped eating aquaculture fish, which is considered a sanitary fish, only used for recreational fishing”, explains Sorin Barbu.
In the last 5 years, a significant number of Romanian restaurants have evolved to offer their clients special gastronomic experiences.
“The main challenges in managing restaurants in Bucharest are related to the stabilization and motivation of the teams, considering the shortage of qualified workforce, the authenticity of the culinary concept, the access to fresh raw materials and keeping a constant quality of the products and services. The new partnership with the Villajoyosa Fish Port helps us bring to Romania the same quality of products and services that the Spanish people have. A new healthy lifestyle and fresh fish captured directly from the port”, declares Bianca Barbu, co-fondator of La Pescaderia.
For La Pescaderia by Alioli, located in the Pipera Plaza Complex on Bucharest North Road 18 in the city of Voluntari, Sorin Barbu started with an investment of 180.000 € and estimates at the end of 2019 a turnover of 350.000 €. Each week, over 500 customers come at La Pescaderia, and the fresh products are brought to Bucharest 8 times a month.
Sorin Barbu has an over 17 years of experience in the HoReCa field. His two restaurants, the Alioli island from Mega Image Barbu Văcărescu and La Finca by Alioli, together with the two food trucks he owns, brought him a 1.230.000 € turnover at the end of 2018.