We had a chance to chat with Vic from Andrade’s Catch about the business. Check it out below!
Would you tell me generally about your business and when and how it started?
Andrade’s Catch was started in 1987 by my father-in-law and his wife, David Andrade and Titi Andrade, and they started in this location that we’re still in now. They started doing fish and chips and more prepared foods and things like that. So while Dave was out fishing, Titi would be here cooking up a storm for customers. Over time, it shifted – Titi passed away, and so part of the business ended because no one else really could take it over. But they’ve continued fishing and selling his catch to restaurants. Now we are full service retail, full service wholesale. We buy from 20 to 30 local fishermen every single day. Since my husband and I have started to take over, we’ve kind of made our goal to divide and conquer – grow the business a little bit more modern in some ways. For retail, we have a great selection of Rhode Island seafood from local fishermen. We are a fishing family, and we support the local fishing community every single day as much as we can. And then we also pick up our seafood six days a week in New Bedford, from bigger offshore boats that come in.
What would you say is something unique about this business?
As far as fish markets go, we have an incredible pantry area in our shop. So aside from our extremely high quality standards, we also are always rotating items. In this case, nothing is ever in the shop for more than two days. Plus, our pantry area is curated with the best ingredients and a lot of locally made things like hot sauces and kits.
What do you think people should know about your business?
People should know we’re open seven days a week. And that there’s a family running it. Being family run is at the core of everything we do. Our customers are like our family. We wouldn’t sell anything that we wouldn’t feed to our own family and we are incredibly community focused here. And we like to share recipes with our customers, and they share recipes with us. It’s a very fun environment!
What would you say is your favorite part of your work?
Me personally? Well, my job is very different from my husbands’s – my husband handles wholesale and buying – he’s the one that’s working with all the local fisherman. I think he finds a lot of joy in that, talking with them when they come in and weigh or count their catch. I think he just loves being around those guys, especially coming from such a big fishing family.
But my favorite part is talking to customers and meeting the new people that come into the shop, and educating them about different types of fish, or even how to prepare fish differently than you might have before – really building a relationship with them, so that over time, if they might not see a fish that they’re used to in the display case, that they’ll take our guidance and trust that we wouldn’t recommend something they wouldn’t like. It’s really that relationship that’s by far my favorite part.
That’s awesome. And how valuable that must be for the people who come in – they’re like, “I want to try this…but what is it?”
We do have a lot of people that come in that say, “I don’t really ever cook this,” or “I like to order it out at restaurants every once in a while, but I don’t even know where to start,” and like they come in and they get advice from us. That’s what we’re here for! This is all we do. We are a fishing family. We sell fish, we know fish, and we’re here to help our customers with fish.
So you have suppliers come right to the shop – can you tell me more about that?
It’s mostly like the boat fishermen out of Bristol Harbor, getting off their boat, coming here, pulling up and our wholesale team meets them out of their trunk and helps them unload whatever it is. We’ll bring in their baskets and sort those on the counting machine.
And is that in a backroom? Or is that all happening in the main room?
It actually used to be in the front! Only in the last year did we change that. The counting machine is really cool to watch but was extremely loud, but we did a full renovation and moved it to the backroom. And now all the fishermen can hang out back there and be happy! And customers can hear us asking them what they’d like today instead of having to scream.
Is there anything else that we haven’t talked about that would be good to have talked about?
The biggest things, the most important things at the core of what we do are family and community. And this is what we’ve dedicated our lives to. So the quality is reflected in that, and we just love talking to people about seafood. It’s all we do. Like, we like to say we catch it, we eat it, we sell it, repeat.
Check out Andrade’s Catch at 186 Wood Street in Bristol, Rhode Island!