Heather Jenkins oversees renos for her new store, including lights being installed by Calen Bolam of Allbranch Electrical. (Ronda Payne/Langley Advance)

Langley fish monger moves market

1 Fish 2 Fish stays downtown, in the community owner Heather Jenkins loves.

by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance

After nearly 20 years on the one-way section of Fraser Highway, Heather Jenkins has moved her store 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market and will open the new digs this weekend.

Still on Fraser Highway, customers will get their fix of fresh fish just one block east in the revitalized Fraser 206 complex.

The location may have changed, but some things never will: Jenkins’ love of her customers and belief in serving the best possible quality fish.

“I’m so excited I’ve missed my customers. It’s hard. I’ve been in business for 19 years, so to be closed for 3 weeks has been horrible,” she said.

“Our community is so awesome they’re so great. They’ve supported me and it’s been so neat to see all the generations come through. People came through as little kids and now they’re all grown up and getting married. I have one fellow that has been shopping in fish markets that I’ve been running since I was 17. He still comes in.”

Customers come from literally miles away to shop at 1 Fish 2 Fish.

Jenkins sees regulars from Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Chilliwack and beyond.

They come for great fish from a person who knows how to spot it.

Jenkins started her career as a fish monger when she was 14 and at age 23 the opportunity to open her shop came about. That was March 1998 and she hasn’t looked back.

“I plan on being in business for another 20 years and decided it was time to make an investment in the future,” she said. “They [the complex landlords] had just started to do their planning for all the renovations… we decided that that was the right spot for us but I didn’t need the whole space, so they cut it in half.”

Now, with ample parking, shopping for fresh fish will be even easier with access to the shop from Fraser Highway, 206th Street and 56th Avenue.

“Downtown is so wonderful and vibrant these days and having parking for my customers is great,” noted Jenkins. “I didn’t want to move out of the downtown because I love it so much.”

Her love of downtown Langley translated into becoming an active board member with the Downtown Langley Business Association 17 years ago. Jenkins’ vows her community pride will carry through to the new location.

“It’s very exciting all the new opportunities we’ll have in the new space,” she said.

“I want to continue serving the community. There is a need for us in the community and we were embraced by the community. I do my very best to bring the best to my customers and I guess they have agreed. They have supported us and got us through and kept us going. Without everyone’s support as a community we wouldn’t be here.”

The brighter location will give customers a similar experience of seeing the available fish from the moment they walk in the store.

Jenkins noted the layout of the space is different and represents new routines for her team, but soon there will be a grand opening and other events to watch for on social media and in other channels.

“I have to get my bearings of how everything is going to work because it’s so different,” she explained. “I’ve been in the same routine for 19 years, so it’s a matter of getting used to it.”

While Jenkins always has new ideas for specials and events, she’s going to stay focused on continuing to provide great quality products (and possibly some complementary products) until the team is adjusted to the new space.

“It’s the quality,” she said when asked for her secret to success.

“I sell the highest quality I can possibly get. There are very few fish mongers around. Someone once said to me, ‘a good fish monger is like a good hairdresser’.”

Fresh fish will continue to arrive at 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market on a daily basis with a minor change in location, one block east. The new address is #102 – 20633 Fraser Hwy.

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