After more than a decade selling seafood at various tailgate markets in the area, Roger Queen decided to open his own storefront with his wife Debra three years ago in Fairview. Now, they have expanded to Black Mountain.
The business, known as Fairview Seafood Company, opened in Black Mountain in December.
“December is kind of a hard time to open a business like this,” Debra Queen said. “But it’s growing really well. We’re really excited about it. We’re happy to be here.”
While tailgate markets are seasonal and usually run from spring to fall, the Queens’ stores are open year-round.
Roger Queen said they picked Black Mountain because of his connections from working the Black Mountain tailgate market for seven years.
“It’s a good, strong market and good people, and I really like working with them,” Roger Queen said. “That’s the main reason we wanted to stay here, because of the people we met. The town has a good feel to it. Everybody’s friendly.”
He said he is retiring from the tailgate business to focus on running their stores. Debra Queen said while they were happy to open their own store, leaving the tailgate market was “bittersweet.”
“Leaving the Black Mountain market was a little bittersweet for Roger,” Debra Queen said. “He’d been there for so long and he has lots of friends that came and rely on him to be there. We’re on a first-name basis with a lot of people.”
Roger Queen said many of the customers from the tailgate market have come to the new store, along with plenty of newcomers as well. He said he sees as many as 10 to 15 new customers each week.
Debra Queen said she posts on various Facebook groups in both Fairview and Black Mountain, including the Black Mountain Exchange group. She said she is able to answer questions anyone may have about their products there, and it brings in new customers.
The Queens both said they like talking to their customers and learning about them each week, and helping them discover new seafood.
Roger Queen said they pick up their fresh seafood from Hendersonville each Thursday night. The seafood is shipped from Wilmington and is all from the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing is frozen.
Once the Queens have their seafood for the week, they sell at both their Fairview and Black Mountain locations Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Roger Queen said by that time they are usually sold out.
Debra Queen said finding a location in Black Mountain was not easy and took “blood, sweat and tears.” Roger Queen said they were only able to find their current location because they “prayed and prayed and knocked on doors.”
Their Black Mountain building sits at 213 East State St. beside Black Mountain Coins and Hunters & Treasures.
“We’re excited to be here,” Debra Queen said. “This was not an incredibly easy thing to do, but we got it done.”
The Queens said they have seen nothing but support from the community since opening, and they are looking forward to meeting new people.
Roger Queen said he takes pride in his product, and he believes they sell the freshest seafood in Western North Carolina.
“Everybody’s excited about us being here,” Roger Queen said. “We like being able to bring a good product to the community.”