Fears that the only seafood processing plant at the south end of Graham Island would permanently close due to COVID-19 have been alleyed after a husband-and-wife team bought the business.
New owners Tom and Michelle Argue, who have operated the plant at the end of the Queen Charlotte causeway for several years, announced last week they were reopening the Intercity Packers and Albion Fisheries facility on Aug. 14 with a new name and special rates for islanders.
Tom told the Observer they spent a week trying to get creative with the name, but ultimately decided to keep it simple and go with their initials: T&M Seafood Ltd.
T&M’s abridged season started Friday with ice sales, and drop-offs were expected to start coming in from sport and commercial fishers.
“As we can we will produce and sell fish to the community,” Tom added, saying that the more processing services they provide, the more money they will have to buy fish and sell it to locals.
“It will come, it will just take a little longer than the other pieces.”
People who used to work at the plant are also expected to be called back to work as needed.
In June, Tom and Michelle announced the facility was at risk of closure and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $60,000 to secure it, however, the campaign stalled at around $1,000 raised.
Instead, they decided to go through the Northern Savings Credit Union and secured a personal loan.
Tom said it was worth the risk because otherwise, they would have had to “look at leaving the island.”
“This is what we know. This is what we do. This is our skill set and the opportunity was here,” he said. “It’s good for the community, the people we know and we call friends, so we took the risk and we hope that good things come to pass.”
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