Twenty-two years ago, Ted Perkins, a Gulf Shores, AL native with close connections in the local seafood industry, was struck with a novel idea. With familial ties in our little corner of western Tennessee, he decided to share the bounty of coastal Alabama by selling fresh seafood to landlocked Memphians. He began by driving a truck full of fresh seafood from the Bayou Le Batre area all the way to Tipton County. He set up shop on the side of the road and sold his spoils to the locals. Today, Ted is a famed staple at the Collierville, Agricenter and Memphis farmers’ markets. He and his son Dustin travel north every other week in fall, winter and spring, and every week in summer, to sell what is arguably the freshest seafood available in the River City.
Business at the Paradise Seafood truck is simple: a folding table serves as a checkout counter (“cash or check only”) and whiteboards boast the day’s fresh catches. Chilean sea bass, ahi tuna, pompano, red snapper, scallops, shrimp and oysters are just some of the items you can expect to see in Ted’s refrigerators. You’re lucky if you visit (early enough!) on a day when his homemade gumbo, shrimp and corn soup, or smoked tuna dip is on the menu.
Ted’s loyal repeat customers serve as a testament to the premium quality of his offerings as well as to his long standing place within our farmers’ market community. As one long-time customer has stated, “Going out to the Paradise Seafood truck has become a time-honored tradition for my wife and me. We’ve never been disappointed, and we encourage everyone who visits to arrive early enough to snag a crab cake. They are the best of the best.” Be sure to sign up for the newsletter and never miss out on the freshest catch!