Coastal Seafood, a popular destination for Twin Cities seafood lovers, has outgrown its Minneapolis space and is moving — along with its sister wholesale business — to roomier quarters.
It's a tiny geographic step, moving just across the street, but a giant step up in terms of space, expanding its footprint from 6,500 square feet to more than 50,000 square feet.
Fortune Fish & Gourmet out of Chicago bought Coastal's retail and wholesale business in 2016. Not wanting to tamper with the reputation Coastal had built locally, Fortune kept the name on the Minneapolis and St. Paul retail stores but pulled the Minnesota wholesale business under its name.
The move does not affect Coastal's St. Paul store at Snelling and Grand avenues.
The Chicago company is known for its sustainable sourcing practices, and it supplies seafood to all 40 Whole Foods grocery stores in the Midwest, from Indianapolis to St. Louis to Detroit. It also supplies about 300 restaurants in the region from its Minnesota wholesale facility.
"The new facility will allow us to house and produce more products, which will give us greater reach for new customers," said Jon Novak, president of Fortune Fish Minnesota. "Our freezer alone will be bigger than the whole Coastal operation as it currently stands."
While the majority of the new space will be devoted to processing and storing seafood, about 1,200 square feet will be dedicated to retail, with an additional 3,000 square feet of support space for the retail side.
Novak said customers can expect the same quality and array of products as the current location, but more of it. Fortune sources domestically and from around the world, selling species that are hard to come by in Minnesota stores, like meagre, Tai snapper and bluenose grouper.
There will be an expanded gourmet section built around Fortune's close import relationship with suppliers in Spain, with offerings such as olives, vinegars and Iberico ham. Fortune also has a large network of certified cheesemakers from Wisconsin and other U.S. states.
The new Minnesota space, at 2001 E. 24th St., is under construction. Fortune is hiring more workers so it can establish a second, overnight shift to increase production. Novak expects the first fish will be processed there sometime in June.