Nilda, the matriarch of Portuguese Joe's, with her granddaughter, Amy, outside the iconic fish market on Comox Road. (File photo)

Swan song for Comox Valley fish market

Portuguese Joe's closing after 52 years

A business that has been in the Comox Valley for longer than most residents will be closing its doors for a final time on New Year’s Day.

Portuguese Joe’s Fish Market, which has operated from the same location at 3025 Comox Road for more than five decades, will cease operations this January.

“After over 52 years of service to the Comox Valley, Nilda Veloso and family have decided, sadly, that [Portuguese Joe’s] will be closing its doors on Jan. 1, 2018,” said Cecil Veloso, one of Nilda’s sons.

“We know this announcement will be a shock for many of our loyal customers and people around the country. Unfortunately, it is no longer feasible to continue to keep our business running.”

Cecil said the ever-increasing costs associated with running the business, as well as added competition, have made the business unsustainable for the family.

Nilda and her husband, Joe, opened Portuguese Joe’s Fish Market in 1965. The timing of the closing is strategic.

“Since the Christmas holiday season is normally our busiest time, we at Portuguese Joe’s felt [Jan. 1] would be the best time to close our family seafood business. This closing date would give everyone a chance to come in and get their traditional seafood for the holiday season and a chance to say good-bye for a last time. We would like to thank all the people of the Comox Valley, and beyond, for all the love and support over these 52-plus years.”

Cecil said the business became popular not only in the Comox Valley, but throughout Canada and beyond, thanks to many of their customers, including those from one sector in particular.

“We would especially like to thank all the men and women of our military, not just for their service and sacrifice, but also for helping spread our smoked salmon primarily, and our reputation, all over Canada and the world.

“May God bless you all. We look forward to seeing everyone at Portuguese Joe’s prior to us closing.”