We are happy to highlight Vendor of the Month, Jessica Gail Seafood’s owners, fisherman, and distributors, Milton & Christine Naquin.
Milton grew up spending summers on a shrimp boat. When he grew older, he decided that was exactly what he wanted to do. He began work in the oil industry when he was 18 years old. He worked offshore and all over the world. He met his wife Christine, in Houma, while she was working at Wendy’s as a fry cook. She fondly tells how he would often come in for lunch, and they began to casually talk. He asked her on a date, and they have now been happily married for 32 years. They married in 1989, and relocated to this area. In 2000, Milton built a boat “The Jessica Gail”, which was inspired by Jessica, their daughter, and Gail, Milton’s mother. The Jessica Gail is 48 by 16 feet, with a welded steel hull, and a double rig (the net on each side of the boat). His idea was to have a ”retirement” boat. Fluctuations in the oil industry ensued, and he bagan fishing, and now has been retailing for 15 years. Milton retired from the oil industry in 2015. The demand for their seafood among friends and locals rose, leading to the founding Jessica Gail Seafood, LLC in 2018.
Jessica Gail Seafood predominantly offers shrimp, available in the seasons of May and August. They shrimp 7-8 months out of the year, depending on the weather. While shrimping, they also catch flounder, drum, sheephead and the occasional tripletail or crab. They are primarily focused on handpicking shrimp, and are more concerned with the quality over quantity of their seafood products. The fishing trips typically last 4 to 5 days, having a 5 to 8 hour trip out to the gulf and then again back to shore. Christine retired from the boat 2 years ago. Milton now goes out alone or will take a deckhand. He calls her on the trip back informing her of the quantity, sizes of shrimp and other catches. They discuss pricing, then Christine personally calls their customers to place pre-orders for fresh on-ice pickup the following day from their home in Broussard. The remaining shrimp that doesn’t sell, they peel and devein to sell frozen. They house 8 freezers for back stock and overflow, and also for distribution of Louisiana Direct Seafood Shop products. Christine notes that Louisiana Direct Seafood Shop focuses on all seafood from the gulf, not just one product. It has been an extremely helpful avenue to assist promoting their products both online and through social media. Milton & Christine sell seafood products from their home shop during the hours of 10-6, at Lafayette Market, and at Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market..
During off season, there is still work to be done on the boat such as equipment maintenance, changing oil and patching nets. When time allows they enjoy visiting with their family and friends. Christine boasts that Milton loves to cook and is excellent at it! He smokes meats, (especially brisket), pork roast, and turkey legs. He also smokes an entire hog every year for Mardi Gras. His speciality, according to Christine, is his boiled seafood.
Milton and Christine are truly passionate about Jessica Gail Seafood and providing excellent service to the community. When asked about their favorite part of their job, Milton & Christine both agree they enjoy meeting people, satisfying customer needs with quality products, seeing their smiles and making friends along the way. You can follow their business on facebook @shrimppimp09, and in their facebook group Jessica Gail Seafood, where they regularly post about fresh catches and availability. They can also be reached by phone for orders at (337) 837-5413.