The owner takes great pride in the quality and freshness the local seafood market has to offer. We prepare our fish in a clean environment and display on ice for sale at market value. We offer a wide variety of seafood including fresh sustainable fish, shrimp, squid, shellfish, crabs, lobster, scallops and much more. We also have a wide variety of oven ready items, prepared in our kitchen daily.
Mom and Pop” are alive and well and running Daily Catch Seafood on Cedar Swamp Road.
With the advent of large corporations and conglomerate enterprises it would seem that local stores and local store owners, “Mom and Pop Stores,” are on the verge of all but disappearing from the American landscape. Enter Dan Dumican, 31, and his wife Lisa, who rolled up their sleeves almost eight years ago and started their lives together as new owners of Daily Catch, not knowing what the future would bring.
“It was extremely difficult,” recalls Dan. “We went five years without a vacation, three years without a paycheck trying to pay the loan off. We worked seven days a week 10 hours a day.”
Working was nothing new to Dan. At 13, he recalls his father telling him to “go out and get a job” to keep him out of trouble. So he did, landing a job washing dishes at a fish market. There he worked his way up the ladder a rung at a time, and learning the business from the ground up. “I put plenty of hours there,” adds Dan. “I understood exactly how it worked in the retail food business.”
At 23, he decided he could do more. He didn’t want to be an employee all his life. Dan felt he was destined for something better. “I was doing all this work for them, putting in long hours, and thought: why not do this for myself?” He started looking around and found Daily Catch, the Smithfield seafood market had become available. Like any business, it was a gamble, but one he felt was worth taking. To get the loan needed to buy the business, he went to his parents, Billy and Ann Dumican, and asked them to help out. They offered their home as collateral for the bank loan. As far as Dan was concerned, however, this was not a gamble.
“It was ‘1 good business, but I knew I could make it better,” he says. On August 1, 2007, he signed the papers, dropped the check on the table and started on his own journey with his new wife Lisa next to him. She had just quit her jot 15 a dental assistant to pitch in. “We w p both very young,” Lisa, 32, recalls. “We just had hope. I was blown away by his determination to make it work.” “I could, ‘t have done it without her, that’s for sure,” says Dan.
To get b they lived with Dan’s parents for the first four years, to help make ends meet. Shortly after purchasing the store, along came their first child, Hailey, adding other challenge. At times, Hailey would be in her playpen in the store when no babysitters were available. She became a permanent fixture for the home-grown atmosphere the market provided. Now, it truly was a “mom and pop” store.
“This was a huge learning experience for both of us,” explains Dan. “I didn’t now anything about babies. I had never even held one before. But she did. She didn’t know anything about the fish business. I was learning about babies; she was learning about fish.” “I never even held a lobster before,” chuckles Lisa. Add to that a 24/7 lifestyle of being together. “You can’t take work home with you,” says Dan. “Finding that happy medium was extremely difficult. Most of the time it was just the two of us at work.
Working together, living together wasn’t easy. The hardest part was being parent.” “It was challenging,” admits Lisa. “The hardest part was living and working together all the time. It really tests how strong your relationship is.”
Today, the business is going strong and has continued to grow, as has their relationship. New baby Michael was born eight months ago. These days, the Dumican family gets to go on vacation a couple of times a year, during those times when business is sloweast, which are rare. And Daily Catch now boasts four additional employees. The “gamble” has paid off in spades.
“The key is high quality seafood, service for our customers and the number of loyal customers we have, who I really appreciate,” says Dan. “My philosophy is that I wouldn’t sell anything to someone else I wouldn’t feed to my own kids.”
Dan still gets up early and heads to the store where he still puts in 10-hour days. But, he adds, he loves having his own business and running it the way it should be run. These days, he says, there are many things to be thankful for including his parents’ support and confidence and his wife, in particular. “My family means the most to me,” adds Dan. “The best part of work is that am extremely confident doing this. Knowing I can support my family means a great deal to me. I wouldn’t trade this for the whole world!”.