Though the seas aren’t swimming with the same populations Mike Lapierre’s father sourced from in the ‘80s, the second-generation fishmonger brings a fresh perspective to our local waters.
“I grew up learning about quality, freshness, and how to be an adventurous eater and cook. I worked with my dad and in a few restaurants before I joined the United States Air Force. I remember a conversation my dad had with me before I joined about how I needed to choose a different career for myself because seafood was a dying industry,” says Lapierre, who laments that this is true to an extent. “We will never have the catch limits or the stocks of certain species that they had in the ‘80s, but it’s not a bad thing. There are other fish in the sea, truly.”
When Lapierre returned, he decided to forge his own path, working on boats and at fish markets along the way, “my goal being to break the cod, salmon, and scallop trend of old and butcher everything I could that came from our waters,” he explains. Taking a uniquely sustainable and opportunistic approach to the industry, it’s only fitting that he named his own business Brightside Seafood.
Now, operating out of a retail space at the Town Made shared commercial kitchen in Wakefield, Lapierre sells only seafood sourced from Rhode Island waters, and butchers everything by hand to ensure quality. Spring will see species like mahi mahi, black sea bass, skate, razor clams, and many more fresh off the boat and sold fresh. “Not many fishmongers buy on demand, less buy the variety I do, and even less cut what they buy themselves,” says Lapierre. “For the fish, my knife is swift and careful, and for my customers, you can taste the difference.”
Follow @brightside_seafood or visit BrightsideSeafood.com to find when fresh catches are popping up at the Tiverton Farmers Market, Mount Hope Farmers Market, and more.
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