Morey’s Fish Company’s Marinated Seafood Salad

53

Location:
Motley, Minnesota

Status:
Open

Dates active:
1937-present

Ed Morey probably didn’t think his entire life would change when he went into Motley one day in 1937 to sell produce from his farm and help his grandparents with their restaurant. But that’s where the story of Morey’s Fish Company starts.

Since Ed was 15, he’d worked various jobs to help his family make ends meet. His father died when Ed was just 15, so Ed began farming and working in the lumber industry as a teenager. As an adult, he continued farming and worked in construction, all while helping his grandparents with their restaurant by baking pies. 

On that day in 1937, Ed was in the right place at the right time. He had been selling sweetcorn and pies on a corner in Motley when a truck was towed into town with two boxes of fish on ice in the pickup bed. The driver’s truck broke down outside of town on his way back to the Twin Cities from a fishing trip to Lake of the Woods. 

The angler asked the man in the auto shop what he should do with the fish. The man mentioned that Ed was selling produce on the corner and had connections with a local restaurant. Finding that to be a good opportunity to sell the fish, the man asked Ed to buy it from him. Ed didn’t have the money but offered sweetcorn and other produce from the farm in trade. The man accepted, and Ed’s life changed forever with that simple deal.

Ed took a load of the fish to sell to a butcher shop. He used the money to fund a trip up to Lake of the Woods to get more fish. He built a small smokehouse on his property to smoke the fish himself and sell it. But during the first run, the little smokehouse burned to the ground.

Not one to give up that easily, Ed built another smokehouse in its place, this time constructed out of concrete. Once the fish was smoked, Ed took it to Motely and sold it alongside his produce. The fish was a hit with the community and encouraged Ed to turn his smokehouse into a fully-fledged business.

He acquired a plot of land on the main thoroughfare through Motley and built a larger smokehouse there. Ed’s son, Loren, helped set up a retail store to sell the smoked fish around 1940. Meanwhile, Ed traveled to Canada to build relationships with anglers to supply Morey’s with fresh fish. 

Over the years, the business flourished. On the way to their cabins, regular customers made a point to stop at the fish shop. The summer months saw a surge in customers, prompting the establishment of a second retail store in Brainerd. As the business outgrew its space, it relocated to the nearby Baxter. 

Today, the retail business is operated independently from Morey’s Seafood International, the consumer and foodservice distribution business. Most of the seafood used in products in the retail markets continues to be supplied by Morey’s Seafood International. Steve Frank and his family took over the retail business in 1986.  Morey’s Seafood Markets continues to offer items like seafood dips, herring, lutefisk, deli items, and smoked fish at its shops in Motley and Baxter.

Morey’s Marinated Seafood Salad

Sold at Morey’s Fish Shop in Motley, Minnesota.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen small shrimp, thawed
  • 1 pound crab substitute
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed, dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place shrimp, seafood, celery, green onions and dill weed in a bowl.
  • In another bowl mix together olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Toss marinade with seafood mixture.
  • Keep salad in the refrigerator overnight before serving. The salad can be stored safely in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days from the date of preparation.
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