Sarasota Seafood Company: Premier Supplier of Fresh FIsh
While most people in Sarasota are sound asleep, or spilling out of bars into cabs to head home, Darryl Lewis of the Sarasota Seafood Company is at his storefront in North Sarasota, waiting outside for the 3am arrival of his “catch of the day.”
Darryl exudes a friendly, intelligent energy and is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his product that he puts me in mind of a cross between Alton Brown and Mister Rogers—think of him as Bill Nye, the Seafood Guy.
The truck pulls into the back of the deceptively small space and Darryl springs into action, helping to unload the fresh fish directly from the truck into the market’s giant cooler for processing and packaging for sale and delivery.
The fish is never exposed to warm air and travels directly from boats in Sarasota, Miami, Jacksonville, Madeira Beach, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Hawaii to the Sarasota Seafood Market. Whole salmon, black grouper, queen snapper, and shellfish from Boston are just a small sample of what’s on offer at this local market, which is open to the public from Monday through Friday, 11am to 3pm.
Darryl and his brother Dave opened the Sarasota Seafood Company with the intention of becoming Sarasota and Bradenton’s premier supplier of fresh fish at reasonable prices, and the brothers are passionate about building a collaborative local community business. They choose not to advertise, relying instead on word of mouth and putting faith in the principles of honesty and integrity to cement a stellar reputation.
The Sarasota Seafood Company has a thriving wholesale and commercial business with a client roster that reads like who’s who of Sarasota and Bradenton dining establishments. Chances are, if you’re enjoying a seafood dinner tonight, the fish was provided by the Lewis brothers.
Darryl’s background as a charter captain, now retired, certainly informs his familiarity with and love for fresh seafood and Dave’s dedication to building mutually beneficial relationships as a part of this community lends the business an earnest and enterprising air that excites the customers who have discovered their local seafood market either accidentally or by recommendation.
Their loyal local fan base includes culinary luminary Chef Judi Gallagher, who is a regular customer. Members of the email list receive even deeper discounts as well as insider tips on specials. The small retail shop is stocked fresh daily and the employees are happy to provide recipes and cooking tips to hesitant home cooks.
Stop by the Sarasota Seafood Company and say hi to the Lewis brothers. You’re likely to leave with new friends, a pound or two of exceptionally fresh and tasty fish, and the inspiration to go home and wow your family with your newly acquired seafood acumen.