(Nov. 22, 2013) It’s all in the family at Martin Fish Company, the West Ocean City seafood store that recently extended its offerings to include a carryout menu of ready-to-eat dishes.
“You can’t get any fresher,” said Owner John Martin of the eatery’s “boat to table” meals, such as fried flounder sandwiches, shrimp salad, fish tacos and New England Clam Chowder potpie.
Most of the recipes are originals by his later mother Frances Martin and a few came from his sister Erika Martin, who’s been with the business for 10 years, he said.
“My mom had been doing that since the ’80s,” Martin said of her homemade soups for sale at the store. Adding a full carryout menu was “a natural progression to do the next thing to grow.”
Martin’s seafood is steeped in family history, starting with Martin’s grandfather, John W. Martin, who began fishing from the West Ocean City dock in the 1940s. Together with his brother Harold E. Martin, he opened Martin Fish Company in 1958.
The family business has grown since to include fresh fish for sale from the Martin family boats as well as several other vessels. The business carries seafood from scallops and shrimp to crab claws and an array of fresh fish.
Over the past few years, Martin Fish Company has been giving demonstrations for the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and other groups, “just to let people know our store is there,” Martin said.
“Everybody really loved what we were making,” he said.
Early this year, the business took the plunge into offering a full carryout menu, expanding its small kitchen, filling out paperwork and bringing on longtime restaurateur Janet Harmon to manage the food.
“We’ve done a lot of processing for years for seafood, but to take care of the restaurant aspect of it, she has a lot of years of knowledge that we didn’t have,” Martin said of his new manager and old friend. “She’s diligent. I know she’ll take serious care of it.”
Harmon said the business is “like family.”
Martin also has plans to bring outdoor dining to his store, which will open on the West Ocean City waterfront next spring. Staff will do the work in house, which includes building a deck and roof to house tables out back.
In the meantime, the fish company offers fresh-caught fish and other seafood and its ready-to-eat dishes for sale four days a week, Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The business will close for a month in January for renovations, though customers can still order dishes like party platters ahead of time.
In the summer season, Martin Fish Company will open seven days a week with indoor and outdoor dining options and its seafood market.
Learn more about Martin Fish Company or sign up for a newsletter on the week’s fresh catch by visiting www.martinfishco.com. Or, call 410-213-2195 or visit Martin’s at 12929 Harbor Road in West Ocean City.