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  • MLCA

People of the Coast: The women of Jess's Seafood Market

It’s mid-November, a time when the tourists and summer residents have largely fled from the Maine coast. You would think that business would be quiet at Jess’s Market, a small fish market on the south side of Rockland. But instead business owner Sharon O’Brien is on the phone with a customer who wants to have a large order of fresh lobsters delivered overnight to Savannah, Georgia. Daughter Lisa Wiggin is at one of two stainless steel sinks, hosing down a fresh salmon in preparation for fileting it. Twin daughters Katie and Jamie Wiggin are chatting with customers, overseeing the fish counter, and generally doing what they and their older sister have done since they were six years old – running the family fish market. “You wouldn’t be able to catch any of us if this was July,” O’Brien said with a grin. In fact, the fish market, started by Sharon and her ex-husband, Jess Wiggin, in 1986, is a mini-hurricane of activity during the summer months when the market is besieged with customers from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week.

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