It’s a messy job, but Rod Harris doesn’t mess around when it comes to fresh fish.
His recently opened fish market, Maui Seafood, is quickly building a reputation as one of best the places to go for fresh fish in the metro-east.
Harris, an East St. Louis native, purchases hundreds of pounds of fresh fish every week to sell in his newly constructed market at 2138 Missouri Ave.
The 1,400 square-foot shop is equipped with two large tanks where live catfish and buffalo fish swim until they’re purchased.
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“You can’t get it any fresher than this,” Harris said with a chuckle. The fish come from a farm in Grafton where Harris purchased a couple hundred pounds every week.
Harris said the concept of a catch-and-carry market is one that he fell in love with as a child. He knew of one in the area and always wanted to open his own.
Nearly 40 years later, his dream came true.
The shop also offers perch, shrimp, Swai, jackfish, frog legs, tilapia and more. Harris, who co-owns the shop with his wife, also keeps fixings for spaghetti in the store along with hot sauce and pickles.
In the future, he plans to add a kitchen to the store that sits next to Officer’s Funeral Home in East St. Louis.
The market is a labor of love for the city and its residents, Harris said.
“I’ve been in East St. Louis all of my life. I love fresh; everybody that I know loves fresh fish,” Harris said. “I just want to thank the city of East St. Louis for giving us the opportunity to do this.”
Want to try it?
Maui Seafood is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, call 618-857-4533.