Company Director / Harold’s Seafood on The Strand
When Michael Hawkins’ father died too soon from heart disease at the age of 53, it was a game-changer on many levels.
“Dad left me the family farm just outside of Emerald and, while it was a fantastic lifestyle, I soon realised (after seasons of erratic weather) that I needed a regular cash flow,” Michael says.
“So I made the decision to go into hospitality food retailing and bought a café in Emerald followed by The Melbourne Fish Bar – an iconic seafood business in Rockhampton.
“My vision was to retail healthy seafood after witnessing family members dying too young from heart disease.”
After The Strand was redeveloped, Michael knew Townsville was the place to be and couldn’t resist buying Harold’s Seafood in 2005. Since then, he’s doubled turnover, introduced alfresco dining and promoted local, healthy organic seafood.
“The business will always remain a fish and chip shop but I have some exciting plans in the works for Harold’s,” Michael says. “We’re soon to introduce a Spanish influence with some wood fire chargrilling of super-fresh fish straight from the Barrier Reef and, of course, a killer wine list. I just know it will be a hit here in the tropics by the beach on our warm, balmy nights. I can’t divulge too much at this point, but the concept starts with P and ends with an A…”
In his downtime, Michael flies to Brisbane to catch up with his family, including five gorgeous granddaughters and his one and only grandson.
“I also love attending local events like the Strand Ephemera, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and, of course, Cowboys home games,” Michael says. “And I’m a big fan of scuba diving the Reef and Stable on The Strand.”
Harold’s Seafood on The Strand
5/58 The Strand, North Ward