By Sam Prickett
Snapper Grabber’s Land and Sea will expand to a second Vestavia Hills location in May.
For owners Dusty and Karen Scott, the new store in Liberty Park represents the latest evolution of a three-generation seafood legacy.
Dusty started working with seafood when he was 7 years old, working summers at his grandfather’s River Fish Market in north Birmingham. He worked there into his teenage years, watching as his father, Kent Scott, took over and “really, really grew that business.”
But when it came time to choose his own career, Dusty opted to go into the auto parts industry, where he spent 30 years sitting behind a desk.
Kent, meanwhile, sold the River Fish Market in 2005 but found himself unable to stay out of the seafood business. He and his wife, Pam, purchased Snapper Grabber’s, a seafood market on U.S. 31, in 2012. They expanded the business to include a café, butcher and wine shop in 2017.
When Dusty started looking for a new career, he saw an opportunity to expand upon his family’s legacy. He was drawn to the “growing community” of Liberty Park, which had similar demographics to the U.S. 31 location and presented an opportunity “to open a store with very little risk.”
More Than Seafood
“The Liberty Park location, part of the new Cahaba Station shopping center, will feature a selection ‘relatively similar’ to the U.S. 31 location,’” Dusty said.
“We’re going to have the same types of products, all types of fresh seafood, high-quality meats and a unique selection of wine. Of course, we’ll have my father’s ‘Almost Famous Gumbo.’ He’s been working on his recipe for 30 years and it really is delicious,” he continued. “We’ll also have a large grab-and-go assortment, including condiments, spreads and dips, such as chicken salad and smoked tuna dip. And, we’ll even steam your shrimp in your choice of seasoning.”
Pam said the market is in a convenient location.
“People can come in and load up if they’re going to the lake or the beach,” Pam said. “We see this so many times, people stop by Snapper Grabber’s on their way, bring their cooler in, and we ice down their meat, seafood and wine. It’s kind of a one-stop shop for those items.”
The main difference between the two locations is that the Liberty Park Snapper Grabber’s won’t have a dine-in café, which Dusty attributes to the pandemic.
“I guess you can blame it on COVID,” he said. “It was just difficult to open a food business in the COVID era. Things just didn’t work out. We’re not shutting the door on that completely – one day we’re going to revisit it.”
Construction on the new store is still going on, though things are on track to be open by early May. The interior of the market, Dusty said, “won’t be your typical seafood market, where it’s kind of beach-y. It’s going to have more of a rustic vibe featuring darker decor that highlights the product in the case.”
His number one goal, he said, “is to make people love the experience so much that they can’t wait to come back.”
He’s also looking forward to a more hands-on job.
“The seafood business is a unique industry, but it’s hard work,” he said. “But I enjoy hard work and don’t mind getting my hands dirty.”
Pam, meanwhile, said she’s excited for the Scott family seafood legacy to continue.
“Dusty’s going to take it to another generation,” she said. “We thought it was going to end with my husband, and now that Dusty has decided to do this … . We think it’s pretty phenomenal. We’re keeping it all in the family, you know.”