THE FISH MONGER’S WIFE: ABOUT US
About the Fish Monger’s Wife
My name is Amber Mae, aka the Fish Monger’s Wife. I married a 4th generation Lake Michigan commercial fisherman, Eric Monger. The Monger’s family has been commercial fishing for Great Lakes Whitefish in Muskegon, Michigan since 1927.
The birth of The Fish Monger’s Wife began literally with the birth of our first daughter. Like many new parents, we faced the hard choice of does mom go back to work or stay at home. The plan was that I’d make some seasonal income by selling Petersen Fisheries’ fresh catch during the summer and then be home for the rest of the year.
The night before our first farmers market, I was trying to get ready while holding a crying 3-month-old. I was half-crying as well, all while Eric was calmly sitting on the kitchen floor painting the sign for the market. That sign became our logo and was the beginning of a 4th generation family making a better life for the 5th generation of Petersen Fisheries. The following day, I packed up the old ’77 Ford F-150 (nicknamed the Tomato Soup Truck because of its faded color), and headed to the Muskegon Farmers Market.
Muskegon Farmers Market
When we started out at the Muskegon Farmers market, we only sold fresh fish fillet. Then we added Michigan smoked fish using a traditional saltwater brine and 100% wood fired smokehouse, just like Great Grandpa Ben and Great Grandma Oral Petersen used. Great Grandma Oral smoked fish during the Great Depression and sold them to the neighborhood to help make ends meet. Since then, the Petersen family has always been 100% wood fired. Many commercial smokehouses have upgraded to gas and woodchip hybrid smokehouses due to ease of use. My father-in-law is the one that taught me how to smoke fish and he only taught me to use wood fire. Our Michigan smoked fish is brined in salt water (no added sugars or other flavors), and smoked in 100% wood fired smoke houses. It’s the most natural way to smoke fish and highlights the quality of the fish and the skill of the smoker.
Fish Market in Norton Shores
Our Mom and Pop operation got “real” in 2012 when we purchased a brick and mortar building at 2127 W. Sherman Blvd., which became our fish market in Norton Shores, MI. We were drawn to the building because of the 1,500 square foot greenhouse that could be converted into a fish/seafood processing room, but we love it because of the hardwood floors and skylights! During this time my waist began to expand again and we found out a second daughter would fill out our family that November.
Every day I wake up with two thoughts, “Are the kids ok,” and “How can we do what we are doing better?” In order to better our local Michigan fish market, we sell the freshest on the Lakeshore! The whitefish sold at the Fish Monger’s Wife in Norton Shores, Michigan comes from our commercial trap net boat.
When we first opened The Fish Monger’s Wife, we only sold fish caught by Petersen Fisheries. From there we started buying Alaskan salmon direct from Alaskan fishers and other ocean fish from the fishers. For more access to different kinds of fish, we started working with a Chicago fish distributor and we now carry a wide variety of ocean fish including live oysters, Icelandic cod, Alabama catfish, mahi mahi, grilling tuna, swordfish, crab legs and a variety of shrimp. When it comes to these types of fish, we have deliveries two to three times a week to keep the showcase fresh and full. We strive to provide our Fish Folk with the best fish possible! Stop by our Norton Shores fish market and ask about our catch of the day.
Fresh Fish Michigan
We provide our fresh fish to local Michigan restaurants, such as The Heatherstone, The Lake House, Wonderland Distilling Co., Brunch Babes Food Truck, and The Walker.
The Fish Monger’s Wife is also proud to be a part of the following fishing organizations:
- Michigan Fish Producers Association
- Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
Greetings Fish Folk,
I used to host monthly cooking classes in our Norton Shores fish market and miss the experience of interacting and sharing recipes with like-minded Fish Folk. With all the changes because of the pandemic, I’ve decided to host virtual cooking classes instead!
Let us take the fear out of cooking fish, and provide you with a fun daytime activity that will teach you a lifelong skill. You’ll always know what ingredients you need in advance because The Fish Monger’s Wife provides all of the necessary components for each class.
Class description would go here along with some details on the topic and format the class will cover. Class description would go here along with some details on the topic and format the class will cover.
Blustery breezes are blowing in off Lake Michigan and it’s time to put something warm on the stove. Whitefish chowder is a great way to make use of your Whitefish Freezer Stash. Each online class will include everything needed to make a hearty serving of whitefish chowder plus live online instruction. Register now and pay […]
The Oyster Tasting is our most popular Fish Class! To ensure no chance of cancellation, 2021 class will be online. Class will include 4-5 different oysters, a shucking knife, shucking tutorial and oyster chat about each oyster. Register now and pay when you pickup your oysters and shucking knife. Online classes will be webinar based […]
FRESH CATCH BEACH UPDATE
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