Hooked on owning this shop

PUBLISHED: 12:28 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:51 26 October 2009

Paula Cozzi and Irene O’Brien

Paula Cozzi and Irene O'Brien

EVERYFIN S gonna be all right. Or so fish lovers discovered after their favourite independent plaice on Codicote s High Street was saved from the jaws of closure. Gemini Fish, jointly run by Peter Halstead and Irene O Brien, was forced to close in Aug

'EVERYFIN'S' gonna be all right.

Or so fish lovers discovered after their favourite independent 'plaice' on Codicote's High Street was saved from the jaws of closure.

Gemini Fish, jointly run by Peter Halstead and Irene O'Brien, was forced to close in August after Peter tragically died when he fell from scaffolding at his home.

But Irene, keen to see it continue, has now sold it on to Stevenage couple Mark and Paula Cozzi, who promise to put their heart and 'sole' into the shop.

Renamed La Marina after a fishing village in Spain, it stocks the same wide variety of fish as well as a new range of Spanish dinner party food.

Mark, whose Italian surname translates as 'mussel' in English, said: "My family are from Naples and because of the name, I feel like fishing is in my blood.

"I am also a keen fisherman and know a lot about it, which means I have a lot in common with previous owner Peter.

"It's a passion."

Builder

The 40-year-old is a builder by trade, owning Cozzi Building, but when the chance came up to save the shop as well, he couldn't resist.

The father-of-two added: "We had been going to the shop for about 10 years and were very sad when we heard about Peter.

"When the shop came up for sale, we wanted to buy it, but our son was in hospital - so my wife said if it was still there when Theo was better, we would. It was fate that we should buy it."

Since their opening on January 12, they have been rushed off their feet with customers, many of whom Mark thinks are showing their appreciation for the shop.

Irene O'Brien, who lives in Tewin, will continue to help them for the first few months.

She said: "I am really pleased that I have been able to find someone to take over.

"They are interested in providing the community with good quality fish, which is what it's about."

She added: "It's good to finally have a happy ending.

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