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Seafood stores gear up for big profits during Lent

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 6:53pm

Washing crawfish, netting fish, and scooping shrimp are the everyday routine at Tony's Seafood in Baton Rouge.

But workers are getting ready to go into overdrive for the start of busy season for seafood sales.

"We are amped up we are trying to get our products in," Bill Pizzolato, co-owner of Tony's, said.

Wednesday marks the start of lent. It's a time when many Catholics and Louisiana seafood lovers fill their plates with fish instead of red meat on Fridays.

"Friday is your typical day of lent," Pizzolato explained. "It will probably double the amount of seafood that we sell on most of the Fridays."

Thousands of people each week will pack the place trying to get a little fish or shrimp before venders run out.

"Oh they'll be here," Freddie Millican, Tony's customer, said. "You come here Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. You can't hardly get in here. "

This year Pizzolato said crawfish is king: "Prices are pretty much down 75 cents to a dollar a pound from last year this time and the supply and the quality is really exceptional. "

Mild winter weather and heavy rains helped cut cost on crawfish, and the crowds are ready to take advantage of the price.

"Oh it be packed," Barbara Kelly, Tony's customer, described. "You have to order your crawfish and stuff ahead of time for easter. If not they be sold out by the time you get here to get anything, so you already have it ordered."

Pizzolato said as long as the the quality seafood keeps coming in, their customers will keep eating it up.

"That's key. Having supply when the customer comes in to give them the best quality for a reasonable value for good value," Pizzolato stated.
 

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