Lisa Feinman, owner of Old Saybrook’s Atlantic Seafood, never had dreams of cornering the shoreline’s market on fresh seafood. Like perhaps many small business owners, she fell into it after recognizing her independent spirit that told her she needed to not only be her own boss, but to do something of which she and her family could be proud.
After purchasing the business in 2005, and expanding the store’s footprint a couple years later, Feinman was off and running. Customers were loyal and business was steady. Being in the exact right spot in the state didn’t hurt.
“The shoreline’s been good to us,” Feinman says. “I always felt like we had the potential to be a small giant here – a niche kind of establishment. That might have been my one true goal as a local business owner.”
Modesty notwithstanding, Atlantic Seafood has proven to be far more than a niche; its speciality, after all, might just be the bread and butter of the Connecticut Shoreline. Known for its all natural delicacies – a difficult feat in the seafood business – Atlantic Seafood has evolved into a one-stop-shopping dinner destination. With head chef Jerry Doran at the helm – a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – as well as a full on kitchen staff, the market offers all natural seafood without an ounce of preservatives, GMOs, or other artificial ingredients.
“To be honest,” Feinman says, “We were doing the all natural thing long before ‘all natural’ became as en vogue as it is today. It’s deeply imbedded in all that we make and serve to our customers.” The New York Times, who gives the market rave reviews, perhaps says it best by positing that “To find fish any fresher, you’d probably have to throw out a line and catch them yourself.”
Dinner is a cinch at Atlantic Seafood. They not only have scrumptious entrees like Crab Stuffed Flounder and Spinach Feta Salmon, but breads, soups, salads, and sauces, all made from scratch as well as locally sourced ingredients. One of their trademarks is their ever popular Lobster Bake in a Can. A hearty lobster dinner served in a borrowed pot with….” lobsters, corn on the cob, fingerling potatoes and your choice of shellfish. Butter, seasonings and bibs included.
With several impressive distinctions like being the only Zagat rated market in Connecticut, as well as Yankee Magazine’s top rated seafood market in New England, it might seems ironic that Feinman hasn’t opened more stores.
“That was never the goal,” she admits. “My desire was to be part of something that is rock solid and does what it does with pride and authenticity. Opening a slew of stores never seemed to fit into that anywhere.”
Open seven days a week, and with more regular customers than they can count, Atlantic Seafood merely has to stay the course to maintain its success. This means whipping up more creative concoctions like their wonderful Swordfish Piccata, Lemon & Dill Shrimp Salad, and its to-die-for Tuna Salad, made with sushi grade tuna, cured lemons, and capers. If this all sounds like Five Star restaurant quality meals served at home, that’s exactly what it is.
“We’re a family business,” Feinman says proudly. “So it gives us great pleasure to think that we’ve contributed to the coming together of other families as they enjoy great food we’ve prepared with absolute pride and a commitment to the finest quality.”
Visit the market’s website at www.atlanticseafoodmarket.com for more information.