After leaving school in the 8th grade, Murray Nixon never dreamed the very skills his father taught him about fishing would one day help him to become the corporate leader of a fishery and seafood restaurant.
Murray married Marian in 1953, but soon left his family to serve his country. Reunited, the family struggled to raise 6 children. Murray’s days were long and hard. Yet, he never complained since it was, “the way of life.” Murray first began buying from local fisherman, continuing to fish his nets, while Marian paid the local fisherman from the family car.
Finally in 1967, Murray Nixon’s Fishery was built when he ventured out and borrowed $1500.00. It wasn’t long before Marian began helping Murray clean, pack, load and transport the fish to markets in Suffolk and Columbia. Ice was hauled in nightly. The boys began cleaning fish when they were so young they stood on fish boxes to reach the tables, while girls cleaned the gill nets.
Murray’s success began in the early 70’s when he started retailing salt-water fish and traveling to Pamlico Beach, at the close of the day to purchase the fish. It wasn’t long before fish were being shipped from coast to coast.
After turning the fishery over to the children in 1986, the family decided to build a restaurant in 1995 to fulfill another of Murray’s dreams. We opened as Nixon’s Family Restaurant. For years the restaurant served over 2,000 people weekly, only closing on Monday’s. On Friday and Saturday we served the largest seafood buffet in eastern North Carolina and people would come from near and far.
Then in 2000, we decided to try something new to expand our business due to the demand of our products. We started delivering to local grocery stores, convenient stores and road side markets out of a van. From there, word of mouth spread the great quality and taste of our products.
Due to the economy in 2013, we unfortunately had to close the restaurant. So we decided to focus on getting our products into more stores and restaurants. We now serve 250 Food Lions, 100 other chain stores, 65 restaurants and roadside markets. Today we have 12 vans servicing over 415 stores in North Carolina and Virginia.
Although we are no longer a restaurant, our products are still being processed and packaged with pride by hand. We are truly blessed and thankful for our customers continued support.
“If we don’t have it or we can’t get it, it just simply can’t be gotten.”Murray L. Nixon