What we do
Established in 1959, we are a 3rd generation, family run business that specialise in producing fine quality smoked products, and growing our own Oysters on the Suffolk coast. All of our products are hand produced using traditional methods and recipes that have been passed down through the generations. We retail our products both online and in our shop on the Quay in Orford, as well as supplying our restaurant ‘The Butley Orford Oysterage’ and many other fine restaurants and independent businesses.
The smokehouses are still the original houses built by our founder Richard Pinney during the late 1950’s, and they are located next to Butley Creek in Orford, Suffolk.
We use only whole oak logs to produce our smoke and we remain true to the old fashioned, traditional way of flavouring and preserving, without any additional ingredients other than oak smoke and salt. We place great importance on the sourcing of all of our products, making sure that we only obtain premium fish which are in the best condition for smoking.
Our Salmon is hand reared on one of the oldest independent farms in Scotland. The farm has been established for over 35 years, and developed within a vast expanse of water, creating as near as a wild environment as physically possible. Both Freedom Food certificated and RSPCA accredited, Wester Ross is committed to the welfare and sustainability of their fish.
Oysters have been cultivated in the Butley Creek for centuries, but during the late 19th century demand dwindled and the Oyster beds were left untouched. Upon moving to Orford after the war, Richard Pinney decided to reinstate the Oyster beds and over 60 years later we continue to successfully grow our own ‘Butley’ oysters at the creek.
Catching fish has always been an important part of our business. It grew from a hobby and a passion back in the sixties, when we fished from small open longshore boats with no winches or electrical navigational equipment, to today’s more modern catamarans. Our knowledge of the inshore grounds has been gained through much effort and considerable trial and error.
We now have two vessels, ‘Jolene’ and ‘Southern Cross’ which make day trips and bring home fresh catches of lobsters, crabs, skate, cod, soles, herring and sprats. Our methods of fishing are very environmentally friendly, using only light gear, such as pots, longlines and drift nets that only gently skim the sea bed.
I suspect Bill,’ a modest man, will be surprised he’s won this award, but no one else in the county will be. He’s continued his father’s pioneering work to return oyster farming to Butley Creek, expanded from the traditional smokehouse into a shop and restaurant and his training up the next generation of the family to take over.
The quality of Pinney’s product is exceptional and Suffolk is lucky to have him.
Suffolk food and drink hero
Eat Suffolk food and drink awards 2020