Dakota Seafood open in Spearfish

September 28, 2018

SPEARFISH — For those wishing to try out a recipe they’ve been saving for a trip to the coast, there’s another option: Dakota Seafood, a retail market and wholesale supplier specializing in fresh seafood, meats, and charcuterie, is open at the corner of Main Street and Jackson Boulevard in Spearfish.

“ … it’s the freshest seafood that you can get in the state, guaranteed, and we take pride in that, too. We want people to eat quality food,” Taylor Nielsen, manager, said.

He explained that there are three Dakota Seafood Fresh Market locations; the first opened in Rapid City in June 2015, a second location became a reality in Sioux Falls, and on July 26, the Spearfish store opened.

Nielsen explained that the owner, David Nielsen, lives near Lead and frequents all of the locations where Dakota Seafoods are now situated.

“The Northern Hills have always drawn us, I guess,” Taylor Nielsen said, describing that he attended Black Hills State before transferring to the University of South Dakota and later worked as a wildland firefighter, allowing him to become even more familiar with the area. “We all thought that bringing fresh seafood to the area would greatly help out local restaurants, families that relocate from the coast, especially …”

Dakota Seafood’s website describes that it is the first company in the state to arrange daily incoming airline flights carrying fresh seafood sourced from around the world, and Nielsen said the people who come into the store often still don’t believe it, even when they see the finfish and shellfish in the cases.

“It’s kind of coming in from all over,” Nielsen said, describing that the company gets seafood from the East and West Coasts, Hawaii, New Zealand, Portugal – and they’re always looking for new purveyors to keep furthering their horizons, as they get a lot of special requests. Nielsen used the example of a couple, originally from Spain, who were wanting a four-pound octopus – and Dakota Seafood was able fill the order.

“That’s probably the most fun part of the job, I guess, when people come in and they can’t believe what we have, and they always tell us about their family recipes. … It’s really cool,” he said.

Nielsen explained that Dakota Seafood is also partnering with Prairie Harvest Specialty Foods, headquartered in Spearfish, to offer a variety of other meats, and the store also sells a variety of specialty products customers may use to prepare meals, from pasta and sauces to herbs and spices, and there is also a selection of beer and wine.

While there is a seating area within the Spearfish location, Nielsen explained that the company is using it as a party/event center, and with sharing the same floor of the building with the RedWater Kitchen restaurant and Spearfish Brewing Company, the businesses all help draw customers to the building.

“We all bring different people to the table,” Nielsen said.

The Spearfish store employs four to five currently, he said, not including three management positions that oversee all three Dakota Seafood locations.

Dakota Seafood is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and customers can find more information on dakotaseafood.com or the company’s Facebook pages, which are location-specific. Nielsen also encouraged people to call ahead to find out what’s available each day, and he added that the company takes special orders and also keeps small ice packs on hand if someone has a longer commute, as the store has already drawn customers from Nebraska and Wyoming.

He encouraged people to stop in the store, ask questions, and be willing to “step out of the box a little bit” to try something new.

“The thing that I look forward to the most about this location … is actually improving the quality of food for families,” Nielsen said. “That was kind of the purpose of what they were doing in the first place because when you think of South Dakota, you don’t think fresh fish from Hawaii in South Dakota. We’re able to do that now, successfully, and it’s really fun watching people do that and explore new opportunities of dinner, lunch, and how they view even holidays.”

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