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Business Brief: Fisherman's Dock Seafood Owners Retire After 35 Years

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John Burr
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Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.

After 35 years, the founders of Northeast Florida’s Fisherman’s Dock Seafood Market retired last week.

In this “Business Brief,” analyst John Burr visits the newly retired couple, Ben and Louanne Williams, on their farm in Palatka.

He told News Director Jessica Palombo what the Williamses learned from decades of owning a small business.

The Williamses both worked at Publix before branching out and becoming owners of Fisherman’s Dock Seafood Markets in Mandarin and Orange Park. Ben Williams said he learned the basics of the food business while working at the food chain.

“Be a little cleaner, be a little neater; be a little more willing to say yes and no; and carry a little bit better stuff. That works,” he said.

Over the years Williams has taken a mentorship role with his younger employees and always tell them to keep their eyes open for opportunity.

"You got to have your powder dry all the time. You got be saving up, whether that's saving up additional education that you get on the side or whether saving up money so that you can apply it to those opportunities"

“You got to have your powder dry all the time. You got be saving up, whether that’s saving up additional education that you get on the side or whether saving up money so that you can apply it to those opportunities," he said. "I tell them all the time that you don’t go to school and soon as they give you the diploma, quit learning.”

Since announcing their retirement, the Williamses had already sold their business to Mike Eddy.

“He is smarter than I am and he is more organized and he is more knowledgeable about actually running a business and organizing that next level," he said. "He is going to provide; he is going to be able to provide, I believe, the opportunity to take what we started and give those employee we had this great opportunity going forward. “

While retired from the Fisherman’s Dock Seafood Market, Burr said the Williamses still plan to run their tree farm and give nature tours of the St. Johns River.