History and Ongoing Plans

Fabulous Fish was started as a Summer Company program (Ontario funded) in 2012 by Laura Blodgett. Laura was 16 at the time and with the assistance of her mother, they went from market to market selling this delicious product. Laura learned a lot about business and by the end of the summer came to understand how important it was to be there when the customer needed her.

my dadLaura got the idea to sell rainbow trout from Manitoulin Island from watching her grandfather do the same thing in the Ottawa Valley. (see link to her grandfather’s business at Buttermilk Creek Farm). Her grandfather gave her the contact information and taught her how to properly handle the fish. Her grandfather has been doing this since 1984. He recommended rainbow trout from Coldwater Fisheries because it is a quality product that holds it flavour. Almost everyone loves Coldwater’s rainbow trout even if they think they are not fond of fish.

In the winter of 2012/2013, her mother, Sandra, helped her deliver to customers in SouthZach and Isaac Bruce who insisted that they wanted the product year round.

Beginning in May 2013, Laura hired Zach Brown and Isaac Blodgett to sell at the local markets, while she was exploring other income opportunities. The boys enjoyed a trip to Manitoulin Island to explore the trout farm. We wanted to see if it really was using best practices that our customers wanted. Click here to see photos from that adventure.

Again, in the winter of 2013/2014 her mother delivered to customers in South Bruce. By this time, Laura was pretty much disconnected from the project while she explored other ventures and it was her mother’s responsibility to run the Fabulous Fish business.

Sandra loves to mentor young people and for the summer of 2014,  Sandra hired Jordie Centigoya and Charlie Erskine to sell at the Paisley Farmer’s Market. They even smoked the fish and sold it for a while. She hired Kalvin Lucier to go to the Eat Well Market in Walkerton. Dora Kidd started at the Shelburne Market and Sandra went to the Port Elgin Market.

Jordie & CharlieCalvinScreenshot_2015-03-28-18-35-02[1]

By the Christmas Market days of 2014, Coldwater Fisheries began to vacuum pack the rainbow trout which made less work for the employees and a more durable product for the customers.  For a brief time, Lilly Taylor from Hanover, helped make phone calls and with her influence we found a stable supply of smoked trout and whitefish.  These two products still came from Manitoulin Island and added to the list was a vast selection of other products that the customers could custom choose.

In the spring of 2015, Laura and her mother and father visited the hatchery in Durham. This is the place where the eggs are hatched and grown to 4 inches and then they are shipped to the island to grow. Indeed, this is a locally grown food product. Click here to see those photos.  In 2015, Dora still sold the product in Shelburne and Kirt Hick, from Port Elgin began to take the product to the Kincardine Market.

We have also sold at Mulberry Tree, Finch & Bear in Hanover and Back Eddies in Paisley and unfortunately those businesses have since closed.

MarthAnn ran the Paisley Market booth in 2015. Sandra ran all the booths in 2016. Paisley Farmers Market closed in 2017 so Sandra did Hanover and Port Elgin for 2017 and 2018. In 2019 she hired Vicki Kanterburg to run the booth at the Eat Well Market. Sandra did the Port Elgin Market.

In 2019 we had fish at Margaret’s Mercantile (an indoor summer market in Cargill) and we have participated in  The Paisley Christmas Market (an indoor winter market in Paisley) every season since 2012. We will likwly be there again in 2021.

In 2018 we started buying smoked fish varieties from Paul Jones in Cape Croker. He wild catches everything on his own boat and processes them in his inspected kitchen.

At the markets, the fish is usually sold frozen for easy handling.  In 2020 due to COVID 19, none of those summer markets operated so Sandra simply did home delivery all summer long.

So now (2021) we will continue to deliver from Southampton to Mildmay over to Durham and back to Paisley.  You can just call 519-379-7284 and order fish that’s delivered right to your door or you are welcome to pick up in Paisley. Sandra has an email list that she periodically uses to collect orders. If you want to get on that list, please email her at manitoulintrout@gmail.com.

rainbow-troutTo get the rainbow trout fillets, we call Coldwater Fisheries and place the order about one week before the delivery. The day before the delivery, the fish are harvested, processed and delivered by Erb Transport to Paisley.

To get many other kinds of fish, we call Seacore Seafood Inc. and we can have the fish within a day or two as transportation allows. We have sold whitefish and smoked rainbow trout, smoked whitefish, perch and pickerel, Atlantic salmon all from traceable sources through Seacore.

Fabulous Fish is proud to offer such a fresh and nutritious product. Sandra looks after the relationships and the fish sales seem to take care of themselves. Thank-you for supporting us over the years. We hope to see you at the summer markets of 2021.

Fabulous Fish is proud to bring a quality product to you.

519-379-7284 @ 445 Queen St. N, Paisley, Ontario N0G 2N0

manitoulintrout@gmail.com