Local Boys Gig Harbor has fresh fruit and produce down to a science, so co-owners Robert and Trevor Jones wanted to expand the selection.
The fruit stand, located near the Purdy Bridge and owned by the father-and-son team, is now offering fresh, wild-caught fish.
“We’re not doing any farm-raised stuff,” son Trevor Jones said. “With the big grocery stores, it’s all about volume, getting product cheap out there. We’re bringing out the real fresh stuff that’s caught in Alaska and locally.”
The salmon is a deep, vibrant shade of red, which has thrown off some customers that are used to the pink, sometimes almost-orange color of farmed salmon at grocery stores.
“That color is gorgeous,” Jones said. “We literally had someone ask us, ‘Do you dye that?’ No, we don’t dye it; that’s what real, fresh, wild salmon looks like. That’s our main thing. We want to bring in the best product.”
While the price might be a bit higher than the big grocery store offerings, Jones said he believes the difference in freshness and quality is worth it.
“Taste-wise, I think there’s a difference,” Jones said. “The salmon that’s not farmed tastes fresher.”
The stand, which is open from May to October, aims to keep its selection fresh and local. In addition to salmon, the stand also features halibut, clams, oysters, cod, snapper, shrimp and smoked products. The clams and oysters are dug from Rocky Bay, near Vaughn, and delivered fresh every morning.
“The clams are dug the night before we get them, and they’re purged all night, to where there’s going to be no sand in them for the customers,” Jones said. “The oysters are dug every morning. They bring them in fresh every day.”
For Jones, there’s no excuse not to have fresh seafood in this region of the country.
“We live on the Puget Sound,” he said. “We should be getting fresh everything.”
While Local Boys Gig Harbor has only been selling seafood since May 1, Jones has been pleased with the community’s response so far.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Jones said. “From May 1 till now, we’ve probably sold about 150 pounds of salmon. We’ve gone through about 60 pounds of halibut.”
Trevor Jones’ father, Robert, started Tacoma Boys in Tacoma on 6th Ave. and sold it in 1997. The Gig Harbor location has been open since 2002. The younger Jones said he’s proud of the fresh selection of fruits, vegetables and now, fish. Additionally, the stand has three rotating beer taps for growler fills and a large bottled craft beer selection to accompany the wine offerings.
Jones is also proud of the work the company does with hiring local high school kids looking for their first jobs and helping them get their starts.
“We’re family owned and operated,” Jones said. “We’re local, community-oriented. And the quality — it’s unbeatable. That’s what it’s all about.”