Charlie Russo, Jr., started filleting fish at 6 years old and hasn’t looked back(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Since 1946, Russo’s Seafood has offered the highest quality seafood, prepared in the cleanest and most sanitary surroundings in the Southeast. This family-owned and operated Savannah institution is proud to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.
Charlie Russo, Sr., grew up on a farm but never before cleaned a fish until he began working for Louis Rayola, a seafood business owner who operated on Bull Street, during the Great Depression. He worked long hours and learned the business. Upon returning from World War II, Charlie Russo, Sr., opened his own market, Russo’s Seafood, in 1946 with his wife Antoinette.Russo’s son and current owner, Charlie Russo, Jr., learned to fillet fish as a child and has worked at the market for almost his entire life. Today, 75 years later, the market still thrives, offering fresh shrimp, scallops, crabmeat and a wide variety of assorted fish, cut to order, under Russo, Jr.’s leadership. The business also carries a full line of frozen seafood and ships overnight to customers nationwide.”Running this market is second nature to me,” said Russo, Jr. “At almost 80 years old, I still wake up before dawn and arrive at the store at 6 a.m. to begin the workday. I still love it, and I believe it’s a true blessing to have my family still working beside me.”
High-quality products, meticulous knifework, and pristine cleanliness are hallmarks of the Russo’s Seafood difference. This commitment to a tradition of seafood excellence is what has allowed the Russo family to enjoy 75 years of success and service to the Savannah community.
And while Georgia and the world at large have experienced much change since the 1940s, Russo’s Seafood remains a steadfast business with a rich history. This family fish market continues to lead Savannah’s seafood scene, adapting and staying afloat through recessions, cultural changes, and a pandemic.
“We owe our success to our loyal customers and the beautiful creeks and rivers we live on,” said Russo, Jr. “Caring about the product and taking care of our customers is the reason we have kept our doors open over the past 75 years.”
Fittingly, the Savannah Quarterback Club coincidentally also celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, and is one of Russo, Jr’s local loves. He has been a member for 50 years and helps raise funds for and award two $10,000 college scholarships each year to local high school football players. Charlie believes it is his responsibility to give back to his community for the many blessings he has received and upholds that taking care of his customers far extends past the counter service at the fish market.