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Glenda Giovannoni / Fish Market

Posted on Jul 02,2007
Filed Under Local Leaders , Community,

105 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-5676

About Glenda:

“I started at the Fish Market in 1986. My husband Ray had already been working here for ten years. I helped Ray, but it wasn’t a full-time thing for me.  When he passed away, I returned to working full time until I found a good manager. I came back again in 2003 and have been running the restaurant full-time since then.   

About the Fish Market:

“We’re (the Fish Market) celebrating our 31st year”, Glenda begins. “Ray was an entrepreneur. He’s had over 40 restaurants in the area. Back when he started Fish Market, it was really basic – a chalk board with 6 items to choose from and Shaeffer beer to wash it down. Ray made all the recipes himself. The spicy shrimp, the chowder, everything. He wanted diners to be able to get great seafood at a reasonable price. The menu has expanded, but we still follow the same principals. We’ve also expanded the restaurant and have an area upstairs for special events and groups.

We have many out-of-town customers who tell us that they have to come here every time there in the area. Our managers tell everyone ‘once you come, you’ll always come back’, and it’s true!”

Business Philosophy:

“Our employees are our treasure”, Glenda told me.  “When hurricane Isabel hit Alexandria, we were left with 2 feet of water and mud everywhere. I came in to try and clean up, and everyone showed up with boots and mops to help. I’m sure they had other things to deal with, but they came to help me get this restaurant back on its feet.

It goes back to Ray, who made sure that everyone who worked here felt they were part of a big family. He promised that he would take care of everyone that worked for him, and he did.  The core of our staff has been around for quite some time, many longer than I’ve been here. When you have a stable restaurant staff, it means you have good people, and it shows by our satisfied customers.”

Why did you choose to do this?

“I didn’t choose it, it chose me”. After Ray died, it was up to me. I left for a while, but ended up coming back. It gets into your blood. The staff makes it easy to want to work here. We have a good time.”

Why Alexandria?

The people and the History make Alexandria what it is. I’m just glad to be part of it.

Funny Story?

“Oh my, we’ve had so many!” After thinking a bit, Glenda adds “One that comes to mind happened not too long ago. A box came in the mail with a return address to a packaging store (like Fed Ex/Kinko’s). Once I convinced myself it was safe, I opened the box and found it contained one of our “schooner” beer glasses and a note, inscribed ‘I came upon this schooner glass under less than honorable pretenses, so now I am returning it’. It was (of course) unsigned."

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