In a virtual award presentation held September 14, 2020, the Edisto Chamber awarded the 2019-20 Business of the Year Award to local family-owned business Edisto Seafood. The Business of the Year Award is typically presented at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner which had to be cancelled this year due to the COVID pandemic. In order to offer up the recognition and celebration this year’s recipient deserves, a virtual presentation was done instead.
The Business of the Year award is given by the Edisto Chamber of Commerce each year to recognize a business in the community that goes above and beyond, either in their support of the Chamber and Chamber events or in their overall support of Edisto and the community. The Chamber Board selects five (5) nominees eligible for the award, based on a predetermined list of criteria they must meet, and then the Chamber membership votes to determine the winner.
Started in 1963, Edisto Seafood is a family owned business, spanning three generations of local business owners on Edisto. Edisto Seafood provides fresh seafood to local patrons, tourists, and many of the local restaurants on Edisto. Current owners Ashley and Mary-Evelyn Fontaine are huge supporters of the Chamber and the community. Mary Evelyn served on the Chamber board for a total of three years and as Board President in the 2015-2016 year. In addition to their involvement with the Chamber, they also offer support to the following groups/organizations:
- Edisto Beach Police Department
- Edisto Beach Fire Department
- Edisto Beach State Park
- Edisto Art Guild
- Edisto Island Food Pantry
- King’s Daughters
Edisto Seafood also supports local events, such as the seasonal plays/performances put on by the Edisto Island Art Guild, the various fishing tournaments hosted by The Marina at Edisto Beach, as well as other events put on by the Town of Edisto Beach.
Like so many of Edisto’s local businesses, Edisto Seafood took a financial hit during the start of the pandemic; however, with the support of neighbors and the local community, they were able to stay open and continue the family legacy of shrimping which is a vital aspect of Edisto’s history and tradition. Edisto seafood has been a staple in the community for decades; with community and patron support, they plan to continue the tradition.