FROM A SMALL POND INTO THE BIG SEA OF BUSINESS

At the young age of 19, Steve Costi was torn between living a lifestyle of a carefree teenager and dedicating himself to a business that his dad bought for him. Most kids fresh out of high school are either still working out what they want to do in life, landing any sort of job that they're accepted into, or perhaps go to university for further study. At the age of 19, Steve was presented with an opportunity to own and manage his own business. It's obvious which path he took; "Costi" has evolved into a household brand name when it comes to seafood.

GROWING INTO THE BUSINESS

"I was born with scales" says Steve when asked, "Why seafood"?

The Costi name has had strong links within the industry since Steve's father, Con, opened up a fish shop in Lakemba in 1958 This is a lifestyle that is well known to Steve Costi. He was first brought to the old Sydney Fish Market as a five-year-old by his father, who had migrated from Cyprus in the '50s.

Much of my childhood was spent working in the shop with mum and dad," Steve said. "When I was about 18, dad thought it was important that I get some solid experience so he sent me to my brother's set up at the Sydney Fish Markets to work and learn. I spent several years there cutting my teeth in the industry. It was essentially my apprenticeship in seafood. I was always inspired by dad's passion and success." It was in the 80's that Steve got into business for himself, and not long after that the Costi family fish shops started to pepper throughout the NSW region.

Breeding Success

About four years later, still in his early twenties, Steve began to build wha would turn into a recognisable retail brand. He opened up his second store in 1985 at David Jones Market Street Food Hall in Sydney. Discovering an entrepreneurial flair and a passion for offering the freshest, most affordable seafood saw his successful format begin to expand across New South Wales

STANDING OUT IN A CROWDED SEA OF COMPETITORS

The Costi business has not only weathered the up and downs of the market, but continued to flourish and grown over time

Even as the industry becomes more competitive with farming, stringent fishing laws, and cheap imports, the secret to Steve's success is in differentiating the Costi brand.

Famous Fish's mission is to always supply phenomenal seafood, give our customers an amazing experience, create strong exciting seafood diners, and give generously to others. Our aim through this focus is to attract business owners who are community minded, entrepreneurial, fun, and – like Steve Costi - committed to creating delicious, healthy products at family-friendly stores.

MEET THE OWNERS

In 2014, the Steve Costi partnered with Jon Sully and a group of partners to evolve the brand, the menu and the business model to position it to grow the business nationally. Jon has over twenty years' experience in retail, franchising and property. Until recently he was co-owner of one of Australia's largest and most successful retail food chains, Michel's Patisserie which he helped grow to over three hundred and sixty stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Jon recently sold Michel's to a large publicly listed entity. Steve and Jon saw the opportunity through their respective backgrounds to partner and bring Famous Fish to the rest of Australia. Jon remains passionate about preserving and strengthening the Costi philosophy. Both Steve and Jon very much remain active in the day-to-day operations

STEVE COSTI (FOUNDER)

Steve is part of the pioneering Costi family and has been working in the seafood industry from an early age. Opening his first store at 19, Steve has developed the Famous Fish brand from the ground up, developing groundbreaking retail outlets in Sydney, regional NSW and now Victoria. Steve has lead numerous new initiatives in the seafood industry and his focus of quality, service and value has given him a reputation as one of Australia's best retailers.

JON SULLY (DIRECTOR)

Jon has over twenty years' experience in retail, franchising and property. Until recently he was co-owner of one of Australia's largest and most successful retail food chains, Michel's Patisserie which he helped grow to over three hundred and sixty stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Jon recently sold Michel's to a large publicly listed entity.