Seattle Fish Guys

Meet Desiree Chinn and Sal Panelo, owners of Seattle Fish Guys in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. Desiree and husband Sal opened their premium seafood market in 2016. They serve a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including poke and oysters, and offer fish to cook at home.  

Get to know more about Desiree and Seattle Fish Guys in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?

As Seattle natives, we understand the historical significance of the Central District to our city. We grew up in this neighborhood, we have family members that attended Garfield High School dating back over 60 years. This community is very important to us, both in the present and the past. While most of the communities in Seattle are rapidly changing it is very important to us to maintain the historical integrity of our neighborhood. Whether that be the Central District, Chinatown International District, or Beacon Hill. These neighborhoods have played a huge role in raising us and we feel we have an obligation as business owners to serve our community as well. 

As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?

One of our craziest ideas has actually become a part of our weekly operations. As with most small businesses, we had to come up with new ideas during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these ideas was to create weekly fish based meal kits that our customers could take home and cook on their own. Not only did we provide all of the ingredients, but we also offered delivery to keep people from having to leave their homes. We originally thought that this would be a project that would last only a couple of months, but here we are nearly 2 years later still doing Fish4Days meal kits because they have been so popular.

What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?

Many people know us mainly for our poke and uni, but we are way more than that. We are very rooted in the Seattle fish community. Sal’s family owned Linc’s Tackle Shop on Rainier and many of our fishmongers have over 20 years of experience working at various fish markets around the city. You are being served by people that are very proud of their profession. We offer some of the freshest fish in Seattle and plan to continue providing the highest quality products to our community.

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