We are less than a week away from the end of our annual July sale which features Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Wild Alaskan Halibut and Jumbo New England Scallops – all discounted by roughly 33%.
The reception has been overwhelming and some customers have asked how we can sell seafood of such quality at such a reduced price.
The answer to that question is that in years past we would need to negotiate with our suppliers starting in March and guarantee them extra volume in exchange for a good price. This year, they are calling us. With restaurants running, at best, at 50% capacity, there is plenty of product available and it needs to be sold. Please come in and take advantage!
Speaking of sales, mark your calendars on 8/25, 8/26 and 8/27 when we run our end of summer CRAB CAKE SALE. Prices for crab cakes will be reduced to $8.25, $8.26, and $8.27 each as opposed to the regular price of $12.99. There is no purchase limit, and yes, they do freeze well.
We have had enough inquiries about Maryland Jumbo Lump crabmeat that it’s worth explaining the situation. The crab population in the Chesapeake is good and watermen are catching plenty of hard shell and soft-shell crabs. Prices are slightly higher this year, but the quality has been outstanding. Crabmeat is another story. The challenge with crabmeat is that there are few people available to pick the crabs. Seasonally, migrants from Mexico are allowed into the U.S. to pick the crabs. Our understanding is that, this year, the government did not issue enough visas. The onset of the virus and the ensuing travel restrictions also played a part.
Additionally, even if migrant workers were able to get here, it’s very difficult to socially distance while picking crabs. Furthermore, most of the pickers are housed in large open dormitories, where the virus could spread in no time. So as not to repeat the scenarios in meatpacking plants earlier this year, the decision was made to limit picking in favor of maintaining people’s health. While we always try to have Maryland Jumbo Lump in stock, we are asking you to be a little flexible as sometimes we can only get crabmeat from Virginia, North Carolina or the Gulf of Mexico. This situation won’t resolve itself this year, but at least there should be a healthy population of crabs in the bay going forward.
As we try to create a new “normal” in Potomac, we would like to advise you of a number of protocols which we intend to keep in place long after this crisis moves on.
- We believe that home delivery and curbside pickup are here to stay. You are all busy, and we are happy to accommodate your needs. If you are short on time just order online or order over the phone and we will deliver your order ($75 minimum) or bring it out to your car (no minimum).
- We will fastidiously wash our hands and use hand sanitizer. As much as we would like to continue the practice of gloves, once the threat of the pandemic is mitigated, we feel it makes better sense for the planet to eliminate the practice. Too much plastic waste!
- We will keep the wiping and sanitizing of common touch points in place long after the virus is gone. While we have never had any sanitation issues with the health department – we just passed inspection this week with flying colors – we are now accustomed to obsessively cleaning with hospital grade sanitizer, which will continue.
- We still check the temperature of every staff member daily and will continue the practice into the future. There are a lot of us, and a lot of you, and it makes sense to ensure that no flu, severe cold or any other fever causing illness enters our workspace – at least not from our end.
We are still feeding the health care providers at Suburban Hospital and first responders at the five local fire stations, albeit on a reduced schedule. The kitchens in the fire stations had been closed over the past few months due to Covid-19, so outsourcing meals was critical to them. They recently reached out and told us they now have access to their kitchens, so we could stop the deliveries. We told them we would like to continue on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future and they were delighted. We want to thank all of you who have helped make this possible. If would like to help with the continued effort, you may do so HERE.
We have been fortunate to have hired five part-time staff members over the past year – all local high school students – Lia, Nikka, Claire, Sebastian and David. We have enjoyed having them behind the counter and appreciate their service. Frankly, we could not have handled the surge in business over the past few months without them. Sadly, for us they will be leaving soon to go off to college, and we wish them all the best of luck.
As a result of their departure, we are in need of one full-time staffer and possibly one part-timer as well. We pay well above the county minimum wage, offer vacation pay and health insurance and provide a fun, safe place to work. Previous food experience is helpful but not a requirement. If you know of anyone who is looking for work and might be a good fit for us, please send them our way!
Finally, we’d like to share a moment which was very special to our customer service rep, Lia Papageorge. Lia, a senior at Winston Churchill High School, was the captain of the Churchill’s women’s basketball team this year, which made it all the way to the state semifinals before the season was terminated. Ted Leonsis, Market customer and owner of the Wizards and Capitals, was kind enough to spend a few minutes with Lia last week and urged her to follow her passion as she heads to the University of Michigan in the fall. Congratulations, Lia!