Providing local seafood to area restaurants and retail customers is Shore To Door’s and Ashley Bleau’s mission, that’s apparently catching on quick with our community.
“The response from our Eastern North Carolina community has been overwhelming,” says Bleau, a 2000 graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business administration. “We’ve posted a 300% increase in business since we opened in October, 2011,” he adds
Shore To Door is located at 111F Firetower Road in Winterville, next to Bleau’s other enterprise, Dingbatters’ Seafood Restaurant. Retail customers can visit from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Dingbatters menu features seafood delights like Blue Crab sandwiches (always a favorite), Smothered Gator Bites (yep, fresh Louisiana Gator) and Faroe Island Salmon. Old favorites like Atlantic Ocean flounder, Oysters and Shrimp are also there for those who like to crack and peel their dinner.
“It’s almost like a butcher shop,” Bleau says of Shore To Door. “You can come in and select what you want and we’ll cut and seal it for you,” Bleau explains.
Shore To Door also employs a refrigerated van and truck to bring North Carolina seafood to 35 area restaurants, he says.
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur, “ Bleau says regarding his penchant for business. “After I sold my Subway restaurant, I saw a need for an upscale seafood market in our community and the community has responded.
Bleau test-marketed his idea at local farmers markets before deciding on his store front location. He also owns a shrimp boat and catches many of the fresh fish he sells each day.
Shore To Door customers will enjoy a wide variety of fresh seafood that surpasses that found in chain supermarkets. Soft shell crab, mahi mahi, flounder, shrimp, scallops, bass and oysters are just a few of the items available.
Bleau is also active in his community, involved in the Greenville Jaycees and his first stab at local politics. Bleau is currently campaigning for election to the NC House of Representatives District 9 seat on the Republican ticket