We took a minute to pick the brain of Tony Maltese—the man behind our fresh-as-can-be seafood department—to find out why he’s so excited about local fish.
Tony is a life-long NYS DEC-licensed commercial fisherman and licensed Coast Guard Captain. Captain Tony has been a part of the Fairway Family since 2001, and it is his expertise, ingrained in him by years of hands-on experience, that makes our meticulous selection of seafood so sought after. Tony is up each morning before dawn, and off to the docks, where he selects the very finest goodies from the sea to showcase behind our fish counters.
Here’s why local seafood is worth seeking out, in Tony’s words: The reason local fish are so much better? The freshness. The boats come in one day and the fish are on our stands the next day.
This is unique in the supermarket business. Most companies buy fish from a warehouse, and truck the fish to their stores. There is usually a delay in the process. They pay the price in freshness. We buy nothing through warehouses.
The coming months will bring many locally caught fish, including some caught by myself. We will have striped bass, bluefish, sea bass, porgys, flounder, tuna, mako, swordfish, sea scallops, and more all from local waters.
What makes me confident selling these fish is knowing exactly when and where they were caught. Just as important is knowing how they are handled as they make their way to our stores. I demand from our fishermen the very highest quality, which means carrying more ice than usual and not leaving the fish on deck for any length of time. They go immediately from the ocean into ice, and do not ever leave the ice. I know the difference. And the fishermen know that I know!
Here’s Tony, talking about why we have the freshest seafood in the world.