Port Canaveral’s Two Seafood Markets Stays Resilient During COVID-19 Pandemic
By Space Coast Daily // June 19, 2020
Seafood Atlantic and Wild Ocean Seafood Market has remained open during COVID-19
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Port Canaveral’s two seafood markets have survived hurricanes, recessions, high gas prices in the past, and they’re confident they can bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While other businesses in the Port’s Cove District were shut down due to the coronavirus, Seafood Atlantic at 520 Glen Cheek Drive and Wild Ocean Seafood Market at 710 Bluewater Drive remained open, supplying customers with fresh, locally caught fish and shrimp.
“We weathered the storm,” said Jim Busse, owner of Seafood Atlantic. “We’re commercial fishermen.
We survive anything. We harvest from the sea and the sea doesn’t know anything about coronavirus.”
Established in 1984, Seafood Atlantic buys seafood directly from commercial fishermen to sell in its retail market or prepare for diners at its on-site restaurant.
The company also ships iced down seafood by truck to markets around the U.S. and Canada. Seafood Atlantic’s restaurant re-opened May 6 and none of its nearly 50 employees were furloughed. during the pandemic, he said.
“It was a very good, perfect storm for us in a positive way,” said Busse, who runs the business with his wife. Linda, and daughter, Rian.
Retail sales and walk-in business also are up at Wild Ocean, which has been at the Port since the 1960s and focuses mainly on sales of locally caught shrimp.
But sales to restaurants and distributors have yet to return, said Sherri McCoy, owner-operator of Wild Ocean Seafood Market.
“We hope people keep cooking seafood at home because we did see an increase in our retail walk-in sales,” said McCoy, who co-owns the business with Mike and Jeanna Merrifield.
Wild Ocean’s Port location has kept its hours during the pandemic. McCoy remains optimistic that better days are ahead.
“Commercial fishermen are resilient, we’ve had to reinvent the wheel countless times through the years,” she said.
“We’ve managed to survive a lot of downturns and we certainly know we’re going to survive this one, too.
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