By Herb Sparrow
As you would expect from its location, Pensacola is a seafood lover’s delight. But before digging into the crab cake or swordfish, stop by Joe Patti’s Seafood to get a look at what went into getting that delicious fare to your plate.
“Joe Patti’s offers free guided tours behind the scenes,” said Lori Coppels, group sales manager for the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They are one of the largest seafood distributors in the Southeast.
“They have their own fleet of shrimp boats and a dock right behind the facility. They are in downtown, real convenient, and a lot of groups make a stop either going to or from the naval base.
“They have the friendliest people. They warmly welcome groups and take them through and show how the seafood is transferred from the boats and how it is processed.
“People are just amazed at the amount of seafood and the quality that is there. Imagine the largest meat counter you have ever seen, and that will be Joe Patti’s,” she said.
“They also have a wine cellar, a gift shop and a deli. Groups like to get some of their fresh-baked breads and dipping oils and take them back on the bus with them.”