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Four Generations of Sea to Table
John's Fish Market Lives On

“I’ve lived within one square mile of this fish market my whole life,” says Glenn Pachico, the fourth generation owner of John’s Fish Market on State Road in Vineyard Haven. Glenn’s grandfather, John Pachico, started the market at Five Corners in 1949. When the rent was raised in 1954, he moved the store up State Road to its present location. In 1968, John sold the market to Glenn’s parents, Sandy and John. After they divorced, Sandy took over the market and added Sandy’s Fish & Chips. She ran the market for more than 40 years and, when she retired last season, she turned the market over to her son, Glenn.

Today, Glenn, his wife, Sheila, and sons, Tyler and Mitchell continue the family legacy of providing high quality seafood to the community they love. And the knowledge they possess is first hand. Glenn was a commercial fisherman for years and he retired his boat to his youngest son, Mitchell, who also helps out in the shop when he’s not lobstering and conching. Tyler works in the market and uses his degree in Digital Design to develop marketing materials for the business.

The menu on the Sandy’s Fish and Chips side of the store is expanding based upon customer tastes and suggestions. “People are starting to eat healthy, so we are grilling a lot, doing fish wraps, “Glenn says. One customer requested Rocky Point Clam Cakes, famous from Rocky Point, RI, and, after several attempts by staff member, Samantha Lowe, the customer told Glenn, “You guys nailed it!” Glenn reports, “They are so good, I’ve got to admit it, they’re good. And now we can’t make enough of them.” For those customers with a heartier appetite, Glenn started the John’s Giant, a half-pound fish burger on a brioche bun with a variety of toppings.

“It’s as tall as the Hancock Building”, he says with a big smile. On the fish market side of the shop, one finds not only a variety of the freshest fish, but all sorts of tempting prepared offerings including Scallop Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms, Jumbo Caramelized Shrimp with Teriyaki Sauce, and Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. Sheila is proud of the many patés she’s created that are made on premises including smoked salmon, smoked tuna and bluefish, to name a few. As for Glenn’s mom, Sandy, who stops in occasionally to help out, says “I really miss seeing all of my customers and thinks of them often.”

Glenn wants to encourage people to come by and check out some of the new offerings. “John’s Fish Market has been kind of quiet up on State Road” he says, “just hanging out for a long time. We are the oldest fish market now, which I’m proud to say.”

And, while you’re there, ask him about the time his father netted a submarine while out fishing at sea.

John’s Fish Market and Sandy’s Fish & Chips
5 Martin Road, Vineyard Haven 508.693.1220, and find them on: