A pair of Geelong Cats players has teamed up with a Torquay restaurant to bring fresh seafood straight from the market to the Surf Coast.
ICFood was launched by Lachie Henderson and Rhys Stanley in partnership with Bomboras at the restaurant on The Esplanade last week.
The range of premium quality seafood – including tuna, snapper, oysters, mussels, calamari, trout and salmon – is supplied by Ash Bros, who source each order directly from the Melbourne Seafood Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays and deliver it to Bomboras for pickup the next day.
Henderson said he and Stanley had been working on the concept for some time in response to the lack of fresh seafood in Torquay.
“We had the idea for about three or four years through a few different things we did – we came up with a click and collect business, which is where we are now, and ICFood was born.
“I’ve spent a lot of years down here without fresh seafood, and when we found fresh seafood, it brought families together and we had a great time.”
Stanley said all orders would be bought fresh at the market and brought to Torquay the same day.
“It’s a pretty exciting product, we love it – we’re seafood lovers ourselves – so we’re happy to bring it down here.”
Instead of plastic bags, the fish at ICFood is supplied in cooler bags (or customers can provide their own), and the business is donating all proceeds from every bag bought to WildArk, a conservation group working towards saving the world’s wildest places.
“We’re trying to be as environmentally friendly as we can,” Henderson said. “There are certain things we can do and certain things we can’t – we understand we’re not perfect, but tonight is a start.”
WildArk head of content Kirsten Scholtz said everyone was part of the ecosystem of the world.
“You only really protect what you love, and if you can’t connect with that, then why would anyone want to protect it? I think that’s what we’ve all forgotten – we need to connect with nature again and remember why we should love it and why we need to protect it.”
Wednesday night’s event also featured an auction and silent auction of surf and coastal prints, with all benefits going towards WildArk. Several of the prints featured and were signed by retiring WSL champion Mick Fanning, who is a WildArk ambassador, and were taken by Corey Wilson – Fanning’s favourite photographer on the WSL tour for many years. A few were taken by Scholtz (a WSL photographer for a decade) and Stanley (using a drone).
The launch tied in neatly with the running of the Rip Curl Pro, Fanning’s final event on tour.
“It sort of came about pretty quickly over the past couple of weeks,” Stanley said. “We’ve been planning on doing the launch for a while, and it landed this week, and we’re pretty pumped that a few people can be around and want to come along, which is great for us and great for WildArk.”
Several present and former Cats players were there to show their support, including Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins, Cam Guthrie, Mark Blicavs, George Horlin-Smith, Cory Gregson, Josh Cowan, Matthew Scarlett, David Johnson, and chief executive officer Brian Cook.
For more information on ICFood or to place your order, head to icfood.com.au.