Online Exhibitions & Stories

Jane Roche

Rewriting Women into Maritime History
Proprietor of Fishmongers and Fish Cafe

Jane Roche

Location: Cardigan Bay, Wales, UK

A Voice for Fishers

A dedicated advocate for local sustainability and community engagement, Jane Roche has carved out a unique path for herself in the world of seafood. With over 30 years of experience in childcare, Jane's journey took an unexpected turn when she decided to convert a former nursery building into a café in 2010. But she soon realised that the café alone wasn't enough to fulfil her vision of supporting local industries and providing fresh, locally sourced produce to her community. 

Living near a river, Jane recognised the absence of a reliable supply chain connecting local registered fishers with restaurants and communities in the area. Determined to bridge this gap, she approached the fishers who were content with their existing services and unwilling to expand. Undeterred, Jane saw an opportunity to not only fill the missing link in the community but also create a sustainable venture for small, independent businesses. And thus, the idea for the café with fish on the menu and an accompanying fishmonger was born.

Venturing into uncharted waters, Jane embarked on a journey of learning new skills and immersing herself into the fishing industry.


"Her café became a beacon of hope, championing local businesses and promoting sustainable fishing practices."
Carly Fields


Jane's journey did not stop there. She recognised the immense power of education and community engagement. By taking the time to talk to her customers, she opened their eyes to the incredible stories behind the fish they consumed. Families with wide-eyed children are treated to captivating encounters with live lobsters and crabs, inspiring a sense of wonder and curiosity. She challenges misconceptions and builds bridges of understanding between the public and those who toil to bring fresh catches to their tables. Jane also collaborates with local schools, promoting educational visits and discussions that shed light on the origins of the fish they consume.

Jane's impact reaches beyond her café's walls. She passionately advocates for the fishing industry, shining a light on the challenges faced by fishers and dispelling the negativity that often overshadows their vital contributions. Her voice resonates, reminding everyone of the ripple effect that even a handful of local fishers could have on supporting other industries and preserving the local economy.

Moreover, Jane recognises the crucial role of women in the fisheries sector. By reviving their historical contributions and promoting their involvement at all levels of the industry, she shatters stereotypes and nurtures a more inclusive and empowered community.

As Jane looks toward the future, she dreams of a coastline peppered with vibrant businesses like hers, each committed to sustainability, community, and the preservation of precious resources. With funding secured and plans for expansion in motion, Jane's impact will continue to grow, ensuring that more fishers are supported, more communities are connected, and more individuals are inspired to create positive change.

Jane Roche's story is one of perseverance, innovation, and community engagement. Through her café and fishmongers, she has transformed an idea into a reality, creating a positive impact on the fishing industry and the people she serves. Her commitment to local sustainability and her tireless efforts to connect individuals with the sea are a testament to her vision and dedication.


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Written by Carly Fields

© Emilie Sandy Photography, 2023