CLOSTER, N.J. — An Icelandic fish market in Closter is hoping to find families interested in serving something other than the big bird for Thanksgiving.
“We’ve been trying to get people to put in orders in early," said Maria Baldursson, who owns the business with her husband, Oli. "We’re pretty new here. It’s our first Thanksgiving so we don’t know how it will be."
The business opened in late spring, offering lunch and dinner specials from their homeland with a variety of side vegetables.
The store has packed frozen arctic chard and shipped it overnight to buyers in Washington D.C. and elsewhere
Walk-in customers have come from as far as Staten Island. The owners don’t always know in advance what kind of fish will be available, and that suits their open-minded customers just fine.
“A lot of guys place an order and then come in the door and say ‘OK, what am I having?' ” said Bo Olafsson, Maria's stepson, who also works at the shop. "It's like being at home and you don't know what mom is making, but that's what you have to have."
After selling fish wholesale to restaurants, the couple set up shop at farmer’s markets in Closter and in Englewood. People soon began following them to ask about retail sales.
“It was like 100 degrees outside," Maria said, describing her experience at a farmer's market event. "We made 10 trips outside with ice, and we were dead after that. We did it in Englewood too, and realized, 'OK, we need a place.
"We enjoy the public more than wholesale."
“I came here by word of mouth," customer Erin Beinstock said. "I just pick it up and go.”
Shoppers might try European plaice, ling or wolf fish, cod cheeks and tongue.
They can prepare meals there or offer cooking instructions for gluten free and non-GMO certified meals, many of which have no or very low sugar.
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