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Pine Island Fish Company shooting for Aug. 4 opening

Jake and Kellie Smith will be making the restaurant scene in Perham with a business of their own Aug. 4. They are moving into the former Whisk From Scratch Coffee House and Bakery at 165 W. Main to operate two businesses -- a restaurant specializ...

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Jake and Kellie Smith will be making the restaurant scene in Perham with a business of their own Aug. 4.

They are moving into the former Whisk From Scratch Coffee House and Bakery at 165 W. Main to operate two businesses - a restaurant specializing in seafood, which they are calling Pine Island Fish Company, along with their catering business, called Destination Dining.

Pine Island Fish Company will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will have breakfast and lunch menus plus "small plates", along with a full bar from which the Smith's expect to serve a Happy Hour crowd.

"We are doing Happy Hour and Small Plates. There is no dinner service, but there will still be dinnertime food," Kellie said. "When I say 'small plates' it is going to be a larger serving than what you would traditionally have in mind for an appetizer. We're going to have anything from fish tacos to seared scallops salad. We're not a late night bar."

The Smith's seafood will be delivered to them from a wholesaler in Key West, Fla.

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What the Smith's envision is a place where people will gather after working hours for seafood and a lot of farm to table products.

"We're dealing with a lot of local produce and proteins as well, Kellie added.

Most of the staff is already aboard since the Smiths have been in the catering business for two years.

"We have a couple of head chefs and regular cooks and prep cooks. We have our own pastry chef; we'll do a coffee service in the morning, and we have five servers," Kellie said.

How did the Smiths arrive at this point? Jake is a native of Perham who put a career as a Minnesota fishing boat captain behind him to join Kellie, a Colorado transplant, in the food business. Kellie moved to Minnesota after college to run the family resort near Frazee, and she met Jake while a member of that community.

The couple has a daughter, and they say they think Perham is the right place for them.

"We just love the Perham community and all that it stands for, all of its growth and all of the new development," Kellie said. "I just think it's such a special place."

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