FAIRFIELD, CT â€” Two longtime friends, and lifelong anglers, celebrated the grand opening of their new fish market in Fairfield on Wednesday. Founder and owners Frank Lanzo and Jardar Nygaard hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with town officials at Nordic Fish Market, located at 1499 Post Road, on Wednesday afternoon. Both Lanzo and Nygaard have logged extensive sea time on commercial fishing boats and have been in the seafood industry their entire lives and decided the time was right to bring a new independent fish market to Fairfield.
“With more than 50 years of experience in the seafood industry, we both know this business very well, every granular aspect,” Lanzo said. “We have discussed this idea for a few years, but we both needed to be well positioned to commit 100 percent. Our circumstances allowed us to start looking late last year and here we are. We can compete as an independent because we are the best at this, hands-down. Our combined experience and background equals great quality and the knowledge to back it up.”
Nygaard, who was born in Norway, has been in the seafood Industry since his first Fish Market job at the age of 16. He also worked on his father’s salmon farm at the age of 17, and is currently partner of Stella Mar Oyster Co. In addition to Aquaculture, Nygaard has worked in several commercial fisheries and started Fjord Fisheries in Greenwich with his family in 1990. He was the buyer and operations director since its founding at the age of 18. He was sole owner of Fjord Fisheries from 2001 until he sold it in 2012.
Lanzo is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain who owned and operated the fishing charter boat Judith Lynn, fishing out of Norwalk for 17 years.
“Frank has profound knowledge of fish habits and migration patterns, which was essential to getting his customers on the bite,” according to a press release. “As such, he has been finely in tune to fisheries management practices and has always been very conscious of sustainable fisheries. Frank worked as a professional chef and has formal culinary training, and is passionate about quality. Frank has also worked on boats in several commercial fisheries, and knows first-hand what perfect fish looks like.”
Lanzo and Nygaard have been friends for more than 20 years and first met when Lanzo was handling sales for a seafood distributor and called Nygaard to sell to him. They decided to open their new fish market in downtown Fairfield when Nygaard was considering moving to Fairfield from Greenwich last year and began looking at homes in Fairfield.
“He fell in love with the town, but circumstances left me in Greenwich a little longer,” Lanzo said. “However, I look forward to moving to Fairfield in the near future. After looking at a few other towns, and given the fact that there is not a fish market in Fairfield, it just made simple sense to both of us, to open in Fairfield.”
Lanzo said Nordic Fish Market’s specialty is “seafood, plain and simple.”
“We have both done it so long, that we can do it in our sleep,” he said. “As lifelong anglers, commercial fishermen, and aqua culturists, our experience and contacts allow us to trace all of our products to the source. Above our logo, are the words: Beyond Fresh. Beyond Fresh means we stand by the freshness of our seafood and we offer deep knowledge for our customers. We set a higher standard and hold ourselves accountable for all the products we handle. It doesn’t get done from a spreadsheet, it gets done by having your hands on it. If you go into a fish market and the owner himself can’t deftly fillet a fish, run away screaming.”