The Pirri family has been selling seafood, in one form or another, for four generations, and now sells it right from the boat at Tony’s Seafood in Seekonk.
“My grandfather started the company in his garage in Bristol, going house to house,” said current owner Anthony Pirri. “It was common at the time, like the milkman who would come to your house.”
The Pirri family has been at their current location for more than 35 years. Pirri said he sells wholesale right off the boats to many seafood restaurants in the area.
“You’ve probably had Tony’s seafood and not even known it,” he said.
Pirri said he grew up with the business.
“We moved into this building when I was born,” he said. “I’m three months older than as long as we’ve been here. Throughout that time, I was always doing something here. When I got my license the first thing I did was go on a delivery. Every kind of growth spurt I went through, you could say, there was always a new learning experience within the business that I was exposed to.”
Pirri said it was a tough choice to come to the shop. He said originally, he wasn’t sure if he was going to stay at Tony’s.
“The key point to that was my brother graduating [college] the same year I did,” he said. “He told me let’s do this together, so I made the decision to stay with my family. [My brother] Mark runs the wholesale operation with my father, Angelo, and I run the shop.”
Pirri said he and sometimes his brother or father go to the ships as they come in and buy their goods at auction.
“That’s where the ‘market price’ term you see at restaurants comes into play,” he said.
The auctions are held daily and they buy everything from lobster to tuna.
“We love to support the local fishing community as well as the community that purchases from us.”
Pirri said emost of the products sold is wild caught and not from a farm, which he can be necessary when you’re not near the coast, as Seekonk is. He said their wholesale fish operation runs throughout the area.
“Northern Connecticut, southern Massachusetts and all throughout Rhode Island,” he said. “There’s no middle man with a lot of the products we carry.”
Pirri said he is a Shriner and a Free Mason, and donates a lot of his time personally to local fundraisers and charities. He said the shop also sponsors a local youth baseball team and donates gift certificates for fundraisers, charities and churches. He also volunteers at the Shriners Children’s Hospital.
“I did two parades last weekend and I have another this weekend,” he said, regarding the Shriners.
Tony’s Seafood is located at 1365 Fall River Ave. on Route 6 in Seekonk.