A market, which sells fresh seafood caught by local fishermen, opened in September in Matlacha offering an assortment of choices for its customers to chose from.
Co-owner Jamie Barnhill said they decided to open Barnhill Fisheries Seafood Market last year after the family opened a wholesale building about three years ago to process stone crabs that were caught.
"We had access to really good seafood and wanted to share," she said about why they opened the market. "We want to support the local fishermen and share the quality seafood."
Barnhill Fisheries Seafood Market Co-Owner Jamie Barnhill and her sister-in-law Carrie Barnhill stand in front of a case of fresh fish mostly caught by local fishermen.
Barnhill said business has been good since they opened the doors mid-September.
She said her grandparents were one of the first eight families to live in St. James City. Barnhill also said that she has fourth generation fishermen in her family.
"They have been fishing all of their lives 80 years of fishing," Barnhill said.
If You Go:
What: Barnhill Fisheries Seafood Market
Owners: Jamie, Eddie Jr., Karen and Eddie Barnhill
Where: 4601 Pine Island Road N.W. in Matlacha
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday
The market specializes in stone crabs, since they process them at Barnhill Fisheries. Barnhill said when the fishermen catch the stone crabs they only take one claw before they release them back into the water. She said within a year the stone crab grows back another legal claw.
Barnhill said there are 18 boats that stone crab, along with 10 other boats that fish in the area. The selection of seafood changes daily due to what the fishermen can catch, along with the mercy of the weather.
She said they always have grouper and snapper available for customers to purchase. Other seafood includes local blue crab, shrimp and mullet.
Barnhill said the seafood sold at the market is all local, fresh with no chemicals or preservatives. She said the nice thing about selling local fish is they know the history of where the seafood originated, what boat caught it and where and when it was caught.
The only seafood that is not caught locally are oysters and scallops. Barnhill said the oysters and scallops are brought in from northern Florida because they cannot harvest them locally. In addition, Barnhill said her family catches Florida lobster from the Keys and brings it back to the market to sell as well.
Barnhill said they can also do special orders for their customers.
The majority of the seafood sold at the market is priced by the pound.
The market also has homemade mustard sauce and mullet dip courtesy of Barnhill's mother-in-law, Karen. She said there will be more to come in the near future.
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
Barnhill Fisheries Seafood Market is located at 4601 Pine Island Road, N.W., in Matlacha. For more information, call 239-283-8700.