Small is Beautiful ~ The Advantages of Being a Small and Independent Fish Market

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

It’s great to be small! Our little fish market and café has developed quite a heart and soul over the past 35 years! Bernie, our manager of  25 years is a major part of this place. His kid, my wife and 3 kids have all been involved. Great friends have worked with us while in school or between jobs. We’ve had lots of wonderful customers—many of whom we love like family. We’ve seen generations pass. The little ones who used to play with the fish and come back behind the counter to watch us fillet now come in with their own kids. The combination of seasonal fish and seafood along with the interaction with our diverse and interesting customers make this place an amazing spot to be!

The fact that we are a small business has allowed us to build this living, breathing fish world; it’s also given us lot of advantages over the “big guys”

Mike & Chinese man

We’ve developed personal relationships with customers—knowing them by name, knowing what they like, calling them up on the phone if their favorite seasonal items are in like soft shell crabs, shad roe, etc. Knowing they trust us means a lot. These days, people are signing up for our regular Friday Fish Report to keep on top of the great things that we get in each weekend, as well as a seasonal recipe, and often people we haven’t seen before are stopping by because they found us on the internet.

It’s been great having relationships with suppliers—some of whom we have known for 35 years. They know what we want and pick the best for us. Sometimes we’ll even find surprise fish in our shipment that we didn’t even order. They just know we’d want it.

We love being able to “move on a dime”. Need some Greek bottarga, live sea urchin? We can move quickly—often having it the very next day. Need a great recipe or suggestion? We can help. We don’t have to go through three committees to get things done. Being small and right on top of the products and the people enables us to respond fast!

It’s great being in the old-fashioned neighborhood store on the market floor in Kerrytown and to be a real part of the community. We take a lot of pride in our work (and hopefully the town is proud of us).

It continues to be so rewarding. Going into work with fish piled high, an old Chinese gentleman picking through the trash for stock fish, Mrs. Idzikowki waiting in the parking lot for a pick up order (and her complimentary shrimp cocktail), calling an old friend and customer to let him know the first Copper River Kings are in, helping people to have great success with any recipe…It’s all because being a small and independent fish market makes things a lot more personal, manageable and fun on a local scale!

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Monahan's Seafood

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