Kim McDonough knows “Tramway, North Carolina” and “the freshest seafood around” might not seem to go hand-in-hand, but putting those seemingly disparate elements together every week is literally her job.
McDonough, who lives in the Carolina Lakes area, manages the Tramway Open Air Market for the Wilmington-based Seaview Crab Company, which has multiple locations at the coast. Open from Thursday through Saturday each week at BMER Produce (formerly Jackson Brothers) on U.S. 1, the stand has offered a rotating inventory of fresh fish and other seafood for roughly the past two years.
“I found the job online,” McDonough said, explaining that she’d recently left a job in horticulture and was looking for a change. “I had management experience, and I grew up in Maryland, so I had seafood experience. It was a real fit.”
Back then, McDonough worked at the company’s Spout Springs Market in Harnett County, but she said it wasn’t long before the company saw the potential for further expansion in the Sanford area. Relying on word-of-mouth to get the message out in the early days meant something of a slow start, but now, a visit to the market during any of its operating hours will reveal plenty of local customers stocking up on shrimp, oysters, salmon, and whatever else might be available that week. Prices tend to be in line or even less than area grocery stores, and the product – being sourced from North Carolina waters whenever possible – is inarguably fresher. McDonough is usually a fixture, suggesting items to customers and picking their brains about what they’re planning for dinner. She said she’s also started selling to a handful of restaurants in Lee and Moore counties.
“I really like to cook and I like telling people about how to cook seafood,” she said.
McDonough said shrimp, clams, and scallops tend to be the most popular locally, as well as oysters when in season. The market takes pre-orders (“it’s usually for things like bushels of oysters, but I’ve got some people who call or text me just to save them a specific thing,” she said) and customers can sign up for a weekly email about what’s coming up the road from Wilmington. Additionally, the Tramway Market has a Facebook page on which it regularly features upcoming specialty items:
Reach the Seaview Crab Company’s Tramway Market at (910) 523-6509 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Market is open from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. t0 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Hours expand in the summer.