Being the luckiest fishing village in the world, Destin is known for its seafood. And one local restaurant is taking steps to ensure their seafood goes straight from the Gulf to their tables.
On Feb. 2, Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House opened their own exclusive wholesale seafood market named the Lucky Dog Seafood Company. Restaurant owner Miller Phillips said a desire to be able to buy seafood from local fishermen and educate their guests on what goes into prepping and serving their seafood drove them to open their own seafood market.
“Our main objective is to purchase the freshest seafood, directly from Gulf fishermen, in order to get it from the Gulf waters, directly off the boat, to our market, and onto our guest’s plates as fast as humanly possible,” he said.
The new market is located to the east of their restaurant on the Destin harbor. Two 8-by-4-foot glass windows enable customers and visitors to watch as Boshamp employees clean, prep and inspect the snapper, grouper, shrimp, oysters and other seafood they will be serving that very day.
“Now we can explain to people who want to know ‘why is it 30 for this dish?” Phillips said. “Now you can see what goes into getting this natural resource that’s not touched or farmed or contaminated from human hands. It’s as natural as anything you could possibly eat.”
Before the market became a reality, Boshamps bought their seafood from local wholesalers. Phillips said they will continue to do that but now they have the freedom to also walk down to the docks and buy fish straight off of the fishing boats.
“We didn’t have a real problem with getting the type and quality of fish that we wanted, we just weren’t able to get it at the rate we’re looking for,” he said. “In the summer, we run through 300 pounds of snapper filets a day, 200 pounds of grouper and 100-150 pounds of swordfish. So when you start getting into that kind of weight, you start looking for better ways to do it.”
And that’s how Lucky Dog Seafood Market was born.
“Now, we know what we’re getting,” Phillips said.
In the future, the fish market may end up selling prepped seafood to other local restaurants, but for now Phillips and his team are just focusing on making sure they acquire the freshest and most local seafood they can get their hands on.
Never one to be ashamed of taking pictures of food, Boshamps will also continue to utilize social media to show guests what they can expect to see on the menu, as well as what boat the seafood came from.
“I just want (guests) to come take a look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” Phillips said. “I feel like transparency with the food industry is paramount, especially with what we do selling Gulf seafood. We want everybody to see what we’re doing and know they’re getting exactly what they can see.”