Anastasi Seafood, in Italian Market, expands

ANDREW THAYER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Janet Stechman and her brother, Salvatore Anastasi, run Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. The business recently expanded its restaurant menu and seating, and is now offering deliveries.
ANDREW THAYER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Janet Stechman and her brother, Salvatore Anastasi, run Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. The business recently expanded its restaurant menu and seating, and is now offering deliveries.
Posted: June 03, 2014

J ANET STECHMAN, 57, of South Philadelphia, co-owns Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. Her co-owner and brother, Salvatore Anastasi, is the buyer, while she runs the restaurant and oversees human resources and financials. The family-owned business also includes a fish market. Stechman recently finished the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at the Community College of Philadelphia that helps businesses grow.

Q: What did you learn during the program?

A: It was the first time I actually left the business to work on the business. My biggest takeaway is that entrepreneurs have lots of ideas about what they want to do, but sometimes we get stuck doing things the same way. I learned I could be a leader and not just a laborer.

Q: And how has that affected Anastasi Seafood?

A: One opportunity I realized through the program was getting into the delivery business, and I've hired two more employees. I also increased seating in the restaurant and tweaked the menu, adding more specials.

Q: So the business has been around almost a century.

A: We have a fish market, restaurant and bar, so we pretty much cover everything if you come here, and now I've figured out we can bring it to your door. I've been in the business since high school, and eventually my brother and I took it over. We came to [9th Street and Washington Avenue] in 1996, market only, and two years later got a liquor license to open a bar/restaurant.

Q: What differentiates Anastasi Seafood from others?

A: We shop every day, we're here six days a week and we bring the best, freshest fish to the customer at the best price. Somebody can choose from hundreds of items. This is a difficult thing to do, to bring in everything from wild salmon to escargot, from octopus to live crabs.

Q: What part of the biz contributes the most revenue?

A: The fish market. We are famous for our crabs. I would say the market contributes 60 percent of revenues and the restaurant 40 percent.

Q: Your customers?

A: Our restaurant customer is a professional between 28 and 40. Market customers transcend income levels. You can have somebody buying fish that is a low-income, single mom and right next to her is a guy from Rittenhouse Square buying branzino. You can buy a crab claw for $1.50 to $2 a pound, or fancy lobster tails for $40 a pound.

Q: How big a biz is this?

A: Eighteen employees.

Q: Where do you see the biz headed in the next few years?

A: I see us buying some newer, more-sophisticated equipment than we have now. I believe the delivery business will grow into a catering business.


On Twitter: @MHinkelman

Online: ph.ly/YourBusiness

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