We have a VERY big announcement to make!
After recently celebrating 35 successful years of business, Marty and I have decided it is time to pass the torch on to someone else! We are selling Princeton Seafood Company!
As much as we love our restaurant, we would really like to spend more time traveling together – Marty did just turn 62 after all, and we want our retirement years to be special! We will dearly miss all of our treasured customers, especially our many loyal locals who have supported and come back to us again and again over the years! Thank you so much for being a part of our story. We couldn’t have done it without you!
At the very end of the post I will share our broker’s information in case one of you would be interested in starting a new adventure of your own! But first, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of our special history with Princeton Seafood Company….
Let’s go back to when it all started!
In October of 1979, Marty and I moved to California at the convincing of old friend and commercial fisherman Don Pemberton. With Don’s fishing know-how and our backgrounds in business, we were the perfect trio to launch a wholesale fish market! We started with leased space off of Romeo’s Pier where we sold Don’s catch to retail and wholesale markets in the Bay Area. Next we opened up a crab stand in front of Ida’s (now Sam’s Chowder House) and sold both live and cooked crab on the weekends. Marty was often referred to as “The Crab Man” in reference to the shellfish (or at least we hope)!
Since we dreamed of eventually opening up our own seafood restaurant, we were very excited when the opportunity came up for a spot on Johnson Pier (after the closing of the Sea Witch restaurant). Don’s friend Airline Captain Rick Grether was excited at the chance to invest and helped our team secure the 800 feet location. Little did we know that this would become the permanent home for Princeton Seafood! Through multiple expansions we were able to triple the size of the restaurant!
We were lucky to have help from Marty’s parents in the earlier years. Shirley and Harry Botham joined us in 1981. Shirley had many helpful years of experience as a caterer – she even developed our famous clam chowder recipe that we still use today!
We also had an 18-ft fish counter known as the “ocean on display” where the front dining area currently sits. A few years later we added the ice cream/take-out window and the fish market was transitioned out of the dining area.
By the mid-eighties Marty’s parents were ready to retire for a slower-paced life in Ukiah, California. Soon after, we were ready to open up for dinner and we added our first char-broiler to meet the demand for more healthy seafood items. In addition, Manuel Silva was hired as our kitchen manager and chef and stayed with us more than 15 years.
In 1988 we entered the Knight’s of Columbus Clam Chowder Cook-Off. Thirty teams would compete in the local competition and during the 3 years in a row that we participated, Princeton Seafood took home the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards! As a bonus, one year we even took home the best-dressed award!
More recently, in 2008, Marty and I spent months watching a beautiful wooden fisherman come to life as he being carved by Magnus Sandblom. We knew we just had to have him! It has been really fun seeing all of the photos that friends, family, and customers have shared of Magnus over the years!
In the fall of the same year we started up a car show here in the harbor called Cool Harbor Nights. An inspiration from our son’s interest in classic cars, and a unique way to bring the community together, we started hosting it every first Thursday of the month until sunset. There were many fun successful evenings as the show continued to grow with new participants each month! Proceeds from the raffle always went to a local non-profit.
Finally, in 2016, we will get ready to say Good Bye. While we will miss the restaurant, we are even more excited about this new chapter in our lives! We have a travel trailer that is just the right size for us and our two dogs – we can’t wait to begin our first trip! Yellowstone perhaps? The possibilities are endless!
On behalf of Marty and myself, THANK YOU for all of your many years of laughs, loyalty, and support! If you have a special memory of Princeton Seafood Co. that you’d like to share, please do!
** Our Broker’s information: David R. Worden & Amy Worden, Windward Commercial Real Estate Services
650.726.1031 650.619.0553 Dave@windward-commercial.com