When it comes to seafood, Bozo’s not clowning around
Pascagoula, Mississippi — Things are good at Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli in Pascagoula, though they were a little better last year during the BP oil spill.
That may surprise some, considering the many questions about the safety of Gulf seafood, but owner Keith Delcambre said there was just more money in town, with BP employees and other contractors flocking to the Ingalls Avenue mainstay for fresh seafood and Bozo’s signature po-boys.
However, doing business has gotten easier since then.
“People are back to eating seafood and not asking questions,” Delcambre said. “Before they were eating it, but they were asking a lot of questions.”
Something else that’s not in question is Bozo’s staying power as a business. While the years have seen his competitors go by the wayside, the former grocery store Delcambre’s grandfather started in 1956 has only grown in popularity, and in what it offers.
When Ellis “Bozo” Delcambre and his son, Russell, started Bozo’s, the seafood was on the bottom of their newspaper advertisement. Now, word of mouth and a trunk load of magazine articles from all over the country help bring folks in.
Well that, and some of the best seafood — caught or cooked — that Jackson County residents can buy, bought from fishermen in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
Until Keith Delcambre took over from his father, Russell, in 2001, Bozo’s was just a seafood market. The third-generation owner then took it upon himself to offer lunch items that — even though they still only generate 25 percent of his seafood sales — usually generate a line out the front door.
Adjacent to the deli is Bozo’s signature market, offering just about every kind of seafood found in area waters.
“Crawfish is our biggest seller, then shrimp, fish and then crabs,” Delcambre said.
Though he said he originally had plans of golfing and fishing during most days and letting his five employees handle the day-to-day business, things quickly sorted out to where he’s on the go all day, every day. But that doesn’t bother the 52-year-old whose easy manner incorporates his grandfather’s business savvy and his father’s friendliness to customers.
In fact, most of the articles and accolades hanging on his wall show the results of votes his customers have cast in his favor, all over the Southeast and beyond. It causes a humble reaction in the man who’s dedicated his life to serving top-notch seafood to anyone who wanders by.
“I’m riding on cloud nine,” Delcambre said. “The most gratifying part of it is that I got to work with my grandfather and my dad.
“How many kids have been part of three generations in the same place?”