South Tampa Fish Market Beats Supermarket Freshness
Fish Tails Market owner Simon Horsey took advantage of the housing market collapse in recent years to open a South MacDill business doing what he loves.
For the past year, South Tampa resident and Plant High graduate Simon Horsey has been sharing his love of fish with the local community by providing fresh, homemade products.
Prior to opening Fish Tails Market, 4005 S. MacDill Ave., Horsey bought and sold real estate around the Tampa area. After the market crashed, he decided to head in a new direction doing what he has done throughout most of his life.
"I've been cleaning fish and fishing since I was 5 years old," Horsey said. "I've always done stuff with fish, owned my own boats and cook a lot of fish. I lived in Boston when I was younger, so I learned a lot about fish there, and even though I've never commercially fished, I deal with a lot of fishermen directly."
Horsey's main focus with the market is the freshness of his product. By going directly to fishermen and the wholesalers who deal with them, Horsey is able to acquire whole grouper, amberjack and other assortments of fish that he cleans and filets himself in the shop before selling them.
"When you go to a supermarket, that fish is often 7 to 10 days out of the water," Horsey said. "What I get is generally a day or two or old when I get it. I never use anything frozen, I try to keep everything as fresh as it possibly can be. I get something in every single day."
Naturally, Horsey has taken to cooking fish, especially in his smoker, which allows him to make smoked salmon and a variety of smoked fish spreads that are on sale in his shop.
Horsey tries to use local products as much as possible. However, some items, such as the tuna he uses, can come from as far as Trinidad or Hawaii.
"Most all of it comes from the Gulf, but some items you can't get here," Horsey said. "I pull as much local stuff as possible, and when it comes to stuff like sea bass or salmon I have to have it shipped from around the country."
Business at his market has been up and down, Horsey said, but he is encouraged by the way things have gone and has enjoyed the direction his new career path is taking him in.
"Business could always be better, but that's the way it is with anything," Horsey said. "I opened this idea once before with a partner but that didn't work out, so we closed and I reopened over here. I like what I'm doing now, because when you're searching all over South Tampa for a piece of fresh fish, there isn't anywhere else to get it this fresh."
To learn more about what Fish Tails Market has to offer, call (813) 832-3632.