Think about what Biloxi might have been like in the late 1800’s. It was a simpler way of life and a harder way of life. There were no paved roads and the waters of the Mississippi Sound lapped lazily at the embankment of the shore for there was no man-made sea wall. Families were close knit and neighbors were always willing to help one another. Many families relied upon what they could catch and harvest from the saltwater to put food on the table. That’s how Biloxians began to call Mullet by the term “Biloxi Bacon.” It’s still a readily available fish today that families continue to serve on their tables as grocery prices soar. Biloxi came to be known as the “Seafood Capital of the World.” Life centered around the fishermen’s catch.
Times were lean for most. Old men with skin like leather from too many hours in the sun, told tales of the fish that got away and the crops that either flourished or failed. It was a time when people still lived on Deer, Ship and Horn Islands. Parents taught their children to swim, fish, shrimp and gather sea turtle eggs even before they could walk and talk.
One family began a legacy in those early, hard days that is a testament to the pioneer spirit. The Desporte name is synonymous with the best seafood in the world. Those who have grown up on the Gulf Coast know that the same fine quality seafood that has served families for generations ( 110+ years!) is still what they offer today. In a modest building, Desporte and Sons Seafood is located at 1075 Division Street in Biloxi near Porter Avenue. Sean Desporte says, “Our motto is that we give everybody the Family Discount because we are all family down here!”
Most folks on the Mississippi Gulf Coast know Desporte’s also lives up to their promise of “If It Swims We Got It!” Sean said, “If our clients ask for a certain type of seafood and it isn’t here on that day, we will find it for them no matter where we have to go to get it. We Fed Ex fish from all over the world but for most folks, our gulf fresh seafood IS the best in the world… I have a tendency to agree with them.” The Desporte family will also wrap your order for travel or it can be shipped for FREE. They even have ice chests available for purchase at the shop. And if you are having a party, you can’t go wrong by letting Desportes do the cooking. Just pick out your seafood and they’ll cook it to order. They boil your fresh chosen shrimp FREE of charge and you can bring in the veggies to be boiled with your order! If you want a real treat for dinner then just chose a whole fish right out of the case and the talented folks behind the scenes will scale, clean and filet it for you while you wait…again, at no charge.
The seafood industry has taken a hit recently, but the Desporte family wants everyone to know that right now is the first time in history that Gulf seafood has been inspected this closely. Sean added, “All Gulf of Mexico seafood is inspected on the boat then at the dock and again when it reaches us at the seafood company. That’s got to be some sort of record. It is completely safe. We wouldn’t sell it if it wasn’t. We have a reputation that spans 5 generations. Emile Desporte II and Emile “The Seafood Tycoon” Desporte III and others as far back as 110 years ago built this business up and we’re not about to let any catastrophe take us down or tarnish our good name. We just won’t serve our clients sub-par seafood, period.”
The deli is another reason to stop by to see what this determined family has to offer. There is a great menu but you can also customize your own plate. Just pick out a piece of fish or some shrimp and for only $5 the cook will prepare it for you with fries or onion rings and hush puppies while you wait. Every day there is a fish special and for the unbelievably low price of just $6.95. A guest can get fried fish, gumbo and their choice of either potato salad or fries with a drink! (Most places charge that much just for the gumbo alone!)
Call Sean and the rest of the family at 228-432-1018 for ALL your seafood needs