When my wife and I went the the fishery, we were looking around at the seafood market inside and made a little small talk with one of the people working there. Turns out this is a family business and this was (I think) the the owner's niece. Before we knew it, she called out, 'Rick, get out here!'. This was the owner, Rick, a very nice older gentleman with a black hat that, in white letters, spelled out 'GRUMPY'. She said 'give them the tour'. Rick looked surprised and then said 'follow me guys'.
I got the feeling that there is really not supposed to be a tour, but Rick walked us around and showed us the entire operation, which he built from what sounded like just 1 man (him) on 1 boat. He showed us the lines in the floor and narrated several times, "and this is when we expanded in 19xx". There must have been 5 or 6 of them. We saw everything from the smoker to the freezers. Everything was kept very clean and Rick was a great host. I felt at first like we were taking time away from what he probably wanted to be doing, but I changed my mind because he seemed to show a lot of pride in where he was from and what he'd built and liked sharing that. Everything was very clean and everyone was much more than courteous.
By the time we were done visiting, they were closing down the cafe! When we came back the next day, we had some of the best food that we had anywhere in the 11 days we spent between Largo and West. The cafe is just shaded enough, there's lots of parking, the people-watching is great with all the boats coming in with their catches, there is also good pelican-watching, as they are all over, but don't bother restaurant-goers, it's nice and cool, right on the water, and overall, we were just made to feel like almost like family.
When we were leaving, we ran into Rick again in the parking lot. We hadn't wanted to bother him again because we could see him out on the boats while we were eating and he looked busy. He wanted to talk to us again and make sure that we remembered all of the places he wanted us to go. He really wanted us to have a good experience everywhere we went. Again, we felt like we were getting guidance from a family member who lived in the area.
Overall, I'd give Rick and his business a 7 or an 8 if I could. If you are in Largo and don't go here, you're crazy, and you missed out.
Thanks again, Rick! I'll be sending you some Walleye fillets after the fishing season opens up here!
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