By Caitlin Switzer
MONTROSE—(April 1, 2014) When longtime Mountain Valley Fish & Oyster owner Andy Goldman decided several years ago that it was time to sell his wholesale fish business in the LoMo neighborhood, he wanted to ensure that it would be well taken care of and that whoever took over the company would continue to serve local customers with retail hours as well as meeting wholesale needs. He began negotiations, and recently completed the sale of his company to Seattle Fish Company. In the process, Goldman’s vision of a market that continues to serve local customers has not only been realized, but will be expanded upon.
Today, the market itself—now called Divine Fish Market–is owned and operated by Tobey Vogt, a 20-year veteran of the food industry, and his wife Delphine, a manager with Seattle Fish Company, which serves as Vogt’s wholesaler. The family, which also includes two young children, has found Montrose to be a welcoming community and a great place to live.
“I had been looking for two years to buy my own restaurant,” Tobey Vogt said. “My wife is a manager with Seattle Fish Company, so they knew I was interested and they approached me. “
Vogt is about 20 percent through the renovation process, and has already expanded the market’s retail hours. The Divine Fish Market is now open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be offering fresh meats as well in the near future.
“I am going to have a meat case, and wild mushrooms,” Vogt said.
Though Vogt will be running the place by himself, Delphine is available as well to answer questions about the product.
“We are focused on customer service,” she said. “This is all about you, what you need, and what you want. We want to have the best service as well as the best fish—and soon meats!”
In the past, the market received deliveries twice a week, she noted, but is now getting deliveries three times a week. Customers can expect to see more spices and dried options on the shelves as well.
“Also, we are flying our fish directly into Denver,” Delphine said. “So it is swimming on Monday, and in Montrose by Wednesday—it’s fresher.”
Expanded retail is just part of the Divine Fish Market’s plan for growth, she noted.
“We want to focus on what this community needs and on getting the best choice of fish,” she said.
Tobey, who was raised in a small Pennsylvania farming town, finds Montrose to be the right fit for his family after 13 years in the Vail-Beaver Creek area. He has already found a favorite lunch spot—the Riddled Raven Coffee Shop in Sampler Square, owned by former Mountain Valley Fish & Oyster staffer Jamie Berndt and his wife Sarah.
“My wife and I eat lunch there three or four times a week,” Vogt said. “We tell Jamie we would pay double, the food is so good.”
Customers are welcome to call Divine Fish Market toplace special orders, and ask questions about seafood, Delphine said.
“You still have a direct connection to the wholesaler,” she said, “with a store focused on retail. It’s the best of both worlds, really.
“We are so excited to be here,” she added. “We feel so welcome!”
Divine Fish Market can be reached at 970-249-0866. The web site, www.divinefishmarket.com is currently under construction, but customers can enter their emails at the site for an update when it goes online.
“We will have a vast menu, and you will be able to order online,” Tobey said.