BEAUFORT — Steven Goodwin and Renee Perry started Salty Catch Seafood Company five years ago. They worked hard to promote NC Seafood, delivering their fresh products to the Triangle area several times a week.
The company continued to grow — until Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast in September 2018.
Salty Catch essentially ceased operations for a month. Florence put a halt to Steven’s pound net fishing as the hurricane had a tremendous negative impact on the fresh catch of fish and other seafood.
FEMA was no help to the business since they focus on personal home repair to help people survive the recovery period. Salty Catch Seafood Company did not receive funds from the NC State Disaster relief fund of $800M. There was also no private insurance to offer any assistance.
“We just seemed to keep falling between the cracks,” lamented Perry.
Salty Catch Seafood needed working capital to restart their business and purchase portable refrigeration units that could be moved the next time a hurricane approached the North Carolina shore.
When they heard of the Sunday Supper grant process from chef James Clark of Postal Fish in Pittsboro, they made an application in March.
Salty Catch Seafood Company was granted a check in the amount of $10,000 from Sunday Supper, making it one of the first recovery checks issued by the organization.
“It was a Godsend and we feel beyond thankful and blessed,” Perry said. “Without this $10,000 from the Sunday Supper, we might still be in limbo with our business a year later.”
The grant helped enhance their business in an unexpected way from their initial application. It helped with the opening of what is now Salty Catch Seafood Market + More, which is located at 300 Wellons Dr. in Beaufort.
The new location came up for sale as the grant was being awarded. They now have their own seafood processing center which includes an extra-large storage cooler and other necessary equipment to help significantly expand their seafood business throughout North Carolina and the east coast.
Chef James Clark of Postal Fish explained that Salty Catch Seafood Company is one of his preferred suppliers because they are only ones supplying “100% NC seafood out of Cedar Island,” doing it the old-fashioned way with pound nets. Clark’s customers can tell the difference and can’t get enough of it.
“They keep the fish we want alive until they are put on ice and refrigerated for the drive to the Triangle which Steven does himself,” Clark said. “During flounder season, his flounder is absolutely the very best I have ever served. Our customers go crazy over it. He also delivers cow nose rays which tastes like flank steak, which my customers go wild over as well.”
The Sunday Supper raised $400,000 at two fundraisers in Raleigh in October 2018 with the goal to help small businesses in the North Carolina food chain such as Salty Catch Seafood Company. The fundraisers featured the talents of Raleigh’s best chefs including Scott Crawford of Crawford and Sons, Jake Woods of Plates, James Beard Award winner Ashley Christenson, and Vivian Howard of Chef and Farmer in Kinston.
“We could not be happier that Salty Catch has done so well since we wired them the money,” said Joyce Kohn, one of the founders of Sunday Supper. “They are doing exactly what we hoped our awardees would do with the money: restore and grow their businesses in support of the North Carolina seafood and restaurant industries.”