Gone Fishin'

Ryan Speckman
Ryan Speckman

 

Lin Peterson
Lin Peterson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing. For some, fishing is a lazy, sun-dappled day at the old fishing hole. For others, it's the thrill of the sport and bringing home the first or the biggest. But for Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson, fishing is a booming coastal business -- and their entrepreneurial dream!

Speckman grew up in Charlotte, but ". . . spent quite a bit of time hunting and fishing in rural South Carolina at my family's farm." He also says that he loves everything about fish -- including, catching them and eating them! Peterson, from Clinton, NC, has a long family tradition of being near the ocean. His great-grandfather was a master boat designer and builder in Williston, NC. With such a strong link to the coast, Peterson always had an interest in the seafood industry. It also helps that he loves ". . .being outdoors and cooking local foods."

The native North Carolinians met at NC State when both majored in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. They also realized that there was a unique opportunity to bring fresh seafood to the Triangle area. Speckman believed that most people don't know what fresh seafood really tastes like! And Peterson wanted to introduce people to types of seafood they've never tried. Together, they developed Locals Seafood.

As owners and operators of Locals Seafood, their mission is clear and simple: deliver the freshest possible seafood from local NC fishermen to the Triangle area. They buy 'off-the-boat' seafood (shrimp, crabs, tuna, mahi, grouper, etc.) ". . . before it ever has a chance to be frozen and sell it fast in the Triangle." With their network of Outer Banks fishermen, Locals Seafood not only promotes NC seafood, but boosts the local coastal economy. Speckman says that the seafood industry has ". . . deep roots in North Carolina and is a valuable part of our state's natural heritage. Many of the families we buy seafood from have been commercial fishing for several generations. It is really disheartening when I go to a restaurant, especially at the beach, and they tell me the seafood they serve is not local."

When asked about their entrepreneurial spirit, both Speckman and Peterson state that working for yourself is the most liberating part of owning a business. On the other hand, they realize that a lot of hard work goes into keeping a business going -- there is no vacation, no sick leave, and a lot of long hours. However, they found that careful planning and research, a lot of patience, and developing a solid business plan formed the foundation of a successful business.

Want the 'catch of the day'? See Locals Seafood.


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