A Roanoke College graduate who two years ago started a local seafood delivery business on the Roanoke farmers market is expanding his business by adding a storefront.
Seafood Charlie’s recently opened on Fourth Street in Salem, where Joe’s Deli was located. (The deli moved to Roanoke Boulevard in Salem).
The store is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, or until it sells out of seafood.
Charlie Counts, 25, started the business in 2011 after graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in business. He looked for a job but couldn’t find anything that would use his college education.
So he decided to make a go of what had become a family hobby: traveling to Surf City Crab seafood market on Topsail Island in North Carolina once a week and bringing back fresh seafood.
During the warmer months, Counts travels to Surf City once a week to pick up fresh seafood. He hauls it back in large coolers in his truck.
The business has been successful because consumers want fresh, local food, Counts said.
“People want to eat fresh seafood, and we only live 300 miles from the ocean,” he said. “There is no reason to have it imported from 3,000 miles away.”
Counts wanted to expand this year to a place that he could double as storage, he said. He had been storing the coolers and seafood at his house.
He is employing a Roanoke College student so that one person can staff the store while the other sells at the farmers market. He also will continue to sell at the Grandin Village Community Market .
Lately he’s been bringing back swordfish, Scottish salmon, striped bass, flounder, catfish, cod, crabmeat , oysters and scallops. Next month he expects to begin selling fresh shrimp.
Also in the column, read more about the furniture store opening in Tanglewood Mall, and why Sears portrait studios have closed.