October 6, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer (photos by Hilary Jenison)
The opening of Salty Days Fish Co. will fulfill a longtime dream for Hingham resident Steve Flynn -- who is partnering with his wife, Amy, and two of their best friends to bring a neighborhood retail fish market to the downtown area.
Offerings will range from fresh fish, shellfish, and chowder to sushi and poke bowls, "Raw Bars to Go," and daily specialty items. Salty Days Fish Co. will host its Grand Opening this Saturday, Oct 10 with fresh fish market offerings. In the coming weeks, they will continue to enhance and add to their menu offerings.
"We will be sourcing our fish as locally as possible," Amy told the Hingham Anchor. "We are using a few distributors out of the Boston Fish Pier and will always have a preference toward local. That is where our focus will be."
While Salty Days will cater to the customers' desires, "we are really interested in supporting our local fishermen and community," she said.
Sean and Joanne McDaniel of Marshfield and the Flynns, who between them have seven kids ranging in age from 4 to 17 and three dogs, love nothing better than spending long, salty days on the beach -- boating, swimming, fishing, playing cornhole, and searching for sea glass – share a feeling of excitement about this new joint venture.
Their sense of joy about the beach, all things salty, and a mutual love of seafood is, not surprisingly, the reason behind the shop's name.
"I was born and raised here, and for years I thought Hingham would benefit from a standalone fish market," Steve told the Hingham Anchor. "After being in corporate sales for 25 years, I felt it was time to make a change. We came across the perfect location -- with lots of foot traffic and plenty of parking -- and decided to go for it."
The one-stop shop -- at the former site of The Guesthouse at 93 South St. -- is being outfitted for that purpose, complete with white shiplap walls and a blue and white sign in the outline of a fish, handmade by Steve. Sean is doing some of the finish work.
Salty Days will offer "a healthy, uncomplicated alternative -- light, airy, and fresh seafood," Amy said. "Salty days are always good days when spending time with family and friends on the beach."
Offerings will include fresh salmon, cod, haddock, swordfish, flounder, tuna, and halibut, shellfish (shrimp, mussels, oysters, scallops, crab, and clams), and live and steamed lobster as well as lobster salad and rolls.
'All the fixings'
But that's not all. Menu items also include prepared to-go dishes, condiments from cocktail sauce to fresh lemons, and all the fixings to make any purchase a meal.
In addition to "Raw Bars to Go," Salty Days will also feature daily specialty items -- perfect for lunch or dinner -- that include green, poke, and grain bowls; tuna and salmon tartar; seafood skewers that can be grilled at home; oven-ready salmon patties; fish tacos, crab cakes, stuffed clams, chowder, lobster bisque, pates, and dips; and in-house-made sushi prepared by a "great sushi chef we know."
"This is something we've all talked about for a while, and with us all being home a lot and not rushing around so much due to COVID-19, there was more time to think about and plan for it," said Amy, who works in finance but has always remembered the small specialty markets where she shopped when she lived in Seville, Spain.
Sean, who previously owned his own fish and clam shack, called this new endeavor "a 25-year dream that came true during a pandemic."
Joanne is the CFO of an independent school, but especially enjoys spending time with family and friends at the beach. "Salty Days will be an everything-fresh, high-quality place to stop and pick up fish and other items to feed their families," she said.
Sean, who has worked in the restaurant industry for more than two decades, noted, "Steve had talked about us opening a fish market together for years, and I'd always say, 'Sure, one of these days.’" Now it's actually happening.
Curbside and other options
Salty Days will offer high-quality menu items, available inside the shop, through curbside pickup — or for the convenience of parents with children in car seats, an employee will keep an eye on their kids while they shop, if desired. The shop also features a great selection of branded merchandise for all ages.
Salty Days embraces the "back-yard culture" -- for those who wish to share a small-group delicious, restaurant-quality meal with family, friends, or neighbors without doing all the work.
Even before opening its doors for business, community support has been "awesome," Amy said. "People have popped their heads inside the front door when walking by and said, 'The community needs this.'"
She and the other three owner/founders are enthusiastic about opening a business together. "This is really an investment in ourselves -- food that we like to eat, and doing it together with people we [enjoy spending time with]," Amy said.
An added attraction is one of the blue lobsters caught by a friend, Bill Collins, earlier this year that's for display only. "He can't be bought!" Steve said.
Market hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; and closed on Mondays. For more info, visit saltydaysfish.com