Food Service & Agriculture, Retail, and Small Business & Startups

Downtown Market catches ex-Pike Place fishmonger

August 13, 2013
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Downtown Market catches ex-Pike Place fishmonger
Fishmonger Jeff Butzow is the proprietor of Fish Lad's. Courtesy Downtown Market

Fishmonger Jeff Butzow and his new fish retailer are coming to Downtown Market’s indoor Market Hall.

Butzow — a 15-year seafood retailer who helped lead operations at two fish retailers in Seattle's famous Pike Place Market — will open Fish Lad’s at Downtown Market later this month.

Great Lakes fish

Butzow will sell a variety of local, freshwater fish, as well as high-quality seafood from the Pacific and Atlantic — flown in fresh daily.

Fish Lads is committed to buying seafood from local fishermen who take the Great Lakes ecosystem seriously.

Butzow, who was raised in Traverse City, has already established relationships with local seafood distributors. They will help provide a presence in the market and ensure an offering of fresher fish with clearer transparency, more relatable education and a deeper connection with the environment, according to the market.

The retailer plans to maintain a watch list of coastal species, so it can avoid seafood that is being overfished or depleted.

“Michigan is on the rebound, and Grand Rapids is becoming known as a hotspot for entrepreneurs and innovation,” Butzow said. “The Downtown Market is the hub for those of us who want to bring new food experiences to West Michigan consumers. West Michigan’s food scene is booming, and now is the right time to introduce a fresh, responsible, local seafood provider.”

Having spent the bulk of his career in the Pacific Northwest, Butzow has established a network of suppliers and distributors that will be essential to bringing his style of fresh seafood operations to Michigan.

“Fishmongers are true artisans, masters of their craft and passionate about their knowledge of seafood,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the market. “Jeff brings with him a depth of experience to the Downtown Market that we hope will bring new awareness to our Great Lakes fisheries and provide us with delicious seafood to eat. We are delighted he is choosing to create an entirely new business within our community of artisans.”

Opening events for Downtown Market’s indoor Market Hall are scheduled to launch on Aug. 26. 

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