The Seafood Station Owner’s Story

The Seafood Station Owner’s Story

From Nashville to Tupelo on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Photo: Scott Dehart/The Wall Street Journal

The Mississippi Gulf coast is where things get interesting.

For a region that’s best known for its natural beauty, a thriving fishing economy, and its history and folklore, it’s also a place of intrigue and intrigue. For more than a century, Mississippi’s fishing industry has been one of the state’s top employers, and there’s a reason for that.

“The thing that drew people to the area was the excitement of the sea and the excitement of the people,” said John McCulley, owner of the Seafood Station at the Natchez Trace Parkway on the western tip of Mississippi’s Panhandle. “It was more of ‘Oh, look at this,’ and ‘Oh, look at that,’ rather than ‘We’ve got a lot of work.’”

After all, McCulley’s not the first person to notice the potential for a sustainable fishing-industry comeback on the coast. But he believes he’s better positioned than anyone else to bring that vision to reality because of the location and the industry he brings with him from the Bay Area.

McCulley launched his Seafood Station a decade ago with an idea rooted in the Bay Area. He thought a regional supermarket could bring fresh seafood directly to customers as a quick and convenient option to drive to the coast in his car, and he thought there was a chance his seafood store would find its way to a wider customer base if it could make it as a regional destination.

McCulley has since grown Seafood Station into a chain of seven locations, including a seafood wholesaler and a distributor of sustainably grown shrimp. In his store, McCulley carries more than 30 varieties of produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and meat, and he stocks nearly two dozen seafood items from the Gulf of Alaska to the Atlantic Ocean.

But what makes Seafood Station different from the marketplaces it competes with?

He’s not buying locally

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