Bruce's Seafood booms in Gloucester during COVID-19 lockdown

Bob Beechey kept pandemic safe behind the barrier at Bruce's Seafood truck in Gloucester during lockdown. Photo Anne Keen
Bob Beechey kept pandemic safe behind the barrier at Bruce's Seafood truck in Gloucester during lockdown. Photo Anne Keen

While supermarket shelves were being stripped bare during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Bob Beechey saw a boom at Bruce's Seafood truck in Gloucester.

In the 13 years that Bob has been coming to Gloucester from Forster with a truck load of seafood, he's never seen it so busy.

"Thursday (June 28) was the best day we've ever had," Bob said.

It's a peak the business seemed to be climbing toward throughout the lockdown.

"With the restaurants and cafes closed, more people were looking to cook," he smiled. "And the locals have been real supportive."

The increase in business helped cover the loss of supply to some of the Gloucester businesses that were forced to close, like the Gloucester Soldiers Club that would normally get seafood for its raffles from the truck.

According to Bob, the truck has been coming to Gloucester for over 30 years, supplying fresh seafood in the Billabong Car Park.

It may have been a slightly different truck in the past with a slightly different business name, but the service to the community has been continually valued.

"People thank us for coming over," Bob said. "It's nice to be appreciated."

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease, Bob has seen a decrease in trade, except for the other Thursday, when business was booming.

He's not quite sure why it was so busy on that particular Thursday but he's not complaining. In fact, he's hoping the upward trend will continue.

"When things were closed I realised how much money I saved by not going out to eat and I think other people have too. And seafood's not that dear," he said.

The Gloucester community considers itself pretty lucky to have access to fresh Australian seafood on their doorstop every Thursday and Friday. It's becomes especially popular in the lead-up to Easter and Christmas, when Bruce and Bob take orders and make a special trip over to ensure its delivered fresh.