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Fresh. Healthy. Quality. Clean. These are the top four words that come to mind when one says two more words: Atlantic Seafood.
"We are looking for fish that is clean – no preservatives, no colors, no dyes, no growth hormones, no GMOs," explains Atlantic Seafood's owner Lisa Feinman adding, ""We source our products for quality, not necessarily price, although it is a consideration."
Finding food which meets all of the above criteria is "getting harder and harder, although they've come a long way in the fish industry," admits Feinman. She points out, "Aquaculture or fish farming has made great strides. The term "farmed fish" is now a very broad. With improvements in farming we can now source anything from high-end organically farmed fish to inexpensive farmed Atlantic salmon you would find in a grocery store."
Another feature that sets Atlantic Seafood apart is the full kitchen staff including graduates of the CIA. Plus, "Everything we make here – salads, soups, side dishes – are all made from scratch. That's really a great thing because we're a good source for people who may have food sensitivities."
Even the salad dressings are made from scratch so they can tell customers exactly what's in a product. While making everything from scratch is a lot of work, Feinman says "but it's a force of habit now, not to mention valuable."
They deal with small batches so nothing is left over for any length of time. "It's one of the smartest things we do," she says.
Fish is a no-brainer for celiacs, but now Atlantic Seafood is getting into gluten-free clam chowders and gluten-free crab cakes. You'll find blue stickers on every gluten-free item in the shop.
Those on a low-sodium diet find that prepackaged soups and bisques tend to be higher sodium, but at Atlantic Seafood these foods have the normal tasting portions. Diabetics find that salad dressings often contain a lot of sugars in them, but "We can tell people which dressings don't use any sugar in them and which ones have a little."
Atlantic Seafood also has a line of mixed rice and couscous blends, "which is really cool because it's all natural, all our own products and our own blending. We do a spice blend also – across the board for chicken, beef, pork and seafood."
"We're more focused on being a healthy solution for our community. It feels good to be working at something that is really good for our community," Feinman says.
Customers often shop for friends who haven't been feeling well and give them a gift card to Atlantic Seafood.
But those with health issues are only a small portion of the Atlantic Seafood community. Feinman says, "It's more people who know food more than the average person. They would shop at a fish market because they know they want to get the best quality."
Feiman, who admits she really didn't think she'd go into the fish market business, is now in her eleventh year as owner of a shop which has been around since 1979. She had been looking for an existing business, "something we could see had potential, something we could grow. We came here and said 'We fish, we can make something with this.'"
She sums up the shop's success: "It's because of all of us who work here together that we can be who we are to the community. That's a big deal because not one of us can do this on our own; a number of us have to have the same vision and we do – it works."
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The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!