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The Seafood Connection was born out of problems in the cranberry industry. My father had purchased a cranberry farm in 1978, and at that time he was both commercial fishing and farming. As the cranberry industry got better, he gave up fishing entirely. In the late 1990's due to corporate mismanagement, the cranberry industry nearly collapsed. Prices dropped by almost 90% and many farmers lost their farms. My father had to start commercial fishing again, so he bought a salmon troller. Fishing turned out to be very good for the next couple of years, but the price was terrible. Low quality, cheap farmed fish were at the peak of their popularity, and since the superiority of wild-caught salmon had not been adequately explained to the public, the price and demand for premium quality wild-caught fish stayed low. Some years the buyers only paid 50 cents per pound for incredible-quality king salmon. I talked to my dad about it and decided to get the necessary licenses and do the paperwork so that he could sell his salmon right off the dock. We formed the business in December of 2002.

 
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I ran the idea by my life-long friend Larry, who suggested that since I was fishing crab at the time, we could team up and sell my crab in the winter until salmon season started. We plumbed a tote on the back of my dad's boat and filled it with live crab. During the 2003 crab season, Larry sold the crab off my dad's boat while I was out crab fishing. Larry talked with his uncle about buying some of his Spot Prawns. Most of the available prawns were exported, and very few people had licenses to fish for them. We figured that it would be a good thing to sell since they are excellent eating and quite popular. So at that point, the Seafood Connection’s entire inventory consisted of Dungeness Crab and Spot Prawns. Larry and I were sitting down on my dad’s boat selling crab one day when we discussed having a permanent place to sell our seafood. We thought about getting a boat, but we thought it would be ideal if we got an old barge and built a shed on it. Before long, Larry found a barge, and that same year we put up what was supposed to be a shed, but ended up being a very nice-looking, clean, little seafood store.

Over time, people started requesting various kinds of seafood. Our inventory grew and grew. We started carrying almost every kind of local seafood and several other seafood products. The Seafood Connection is now quite popular, and our manager Rich has been with us since 2003. I bought a boat in 2006 which I used for running charter fishing trips for the first couple years, then I converted it into a commercial salmon troller and tuna bait boat. It now fishes almost exclusively for the Seafood Connection catching tuna, salmon and some types of bottomfish. Tuna instantly became our best seller. The quality of West Coast locally caught Albacore is unmatched. People from all over make trips to our store every year to buy fresh Albacore for home canning or dinner. In 2006 we wanted to expand our market and built the web site CannedAlbacoreTuna.com and started sharing our wonderful tuna with people all across the United States. In 2011 I decided that I had outgrown my small salmon troller and bought a larger boat that is used for catching tuna, crab, bottomfish, and salmon. Like many other boats in Westport, I regularly make deliveries to the Seafood Connection.

Larry and I love our little seafood store. The best part about it has been being in business with my life-long friend. The other thing we really enjoy about owning the Seafood Connection is bringing people high quality seafood at a great price that is ‘Fresh From the Boat to You.’ -- Kevin Marks, Co-Owner, Seafood Connection

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