History of the Favis Family
We are a local Salcombe family who have been in the fishing business for over 40 years.
In 1972 Keith Favis decided to change career from being a lorry driver to fishing and in 1976 he bought his first fishing boat, a 22 ft Crabber the “Boscastle Lass”. Two years later he invested in a larger boat, the 37 ft Crabber the ‘Antusa”. This boat required a crew of 3 and in 1982 his son Nigel joined him desperate to become a fisherman and 2 years later his other son Kevin decided that he also wanted to be a part of this growing family business.
In 1986 we purchased a 55ft wooden Crabber the “Jan Paul”, this was skippered by Nigel and Kevin and had a crew of 5. As the business grew W.K.Favis & Sons decided to invest in having their own vessel built and in 1989 they placed an order with ‘Scheepswerf Visser’ (a Dutch boat building company in Den Helder, Holland) for a purpose built new state of the art 60ft Super Crabber. The build took 9 months to complete and in the October we sailed her back into Salcombe.
The Emma Jane had a crew of 5 or 6 and worked alongside the Jan Paul in the English Channel. In the winter months the Emma Jane worked out of Troon and Oban, Scotland making frequent visits to Islay when the weather was bad and unsafe to fish in. The majority of the Crab caught at this time was sold into France. In 2000 we decided to sell the Jan Paul to make way for the Paedar Elaine, a boat very similar to the Emma Jane and also with a crew of 5 or 6. We kept the Paedar Elaine for 8 years but when markets became very poor and the crewing of vessels became more and more difficult, in 2008 we decided to sell her.
We then made the decision to concentrate on the one boat and exploring the export market. We had been approached several times regarding exporting live crab into mainland China and finally took the plunge in May 2009 and have seen this exciting side of the business go from strength to strength.
As the business expanded, in 2013 we decided it was time to think about purchasing bigger business premises which we did early in 2014, this was also an ideal opportunity to become a limited company and change our name to Favis of Salcombe Ltd.
The move has provided us with space to erect a purpose built picking unit, where we have a staff of about 7 hand picking our prime quality Crab. Relocating most of our business to new premises also came with the opportunity to have fully functioning offices, these are manned by Kevin’s daughter Laura and Nigel’s wife Pippa. In June of this year when Nigel’s son Sam left school he decided that he too wanted to follow in his Father, Uncle and Grandfathers footsteps and join the family business, he is at present about to embark on an apprenticeship with us.