Charles Gandy (the grandson of Buddy Gandy) and his wife Chantel opened Gandy’s Oyster Bar in 2007, and now have Tennessee locations in Columbia and Jackson.
While selling fresh Gulf seafood in Tennessee and Alabama, they noticed that there was a great appreciation and need for quality seafood. Realizing that this need was bigger than they could provide by themselves, Gandy’s Seafood Co. was formed and is now growing at a steady rate. Now as seafood wholesalers, they are providing businesses (such as restaurants, seafood markets, grocery stores, and produce markets) with a fresh and frozen seafood line that offers the best quality available.
Along with their seafood line, they are the only distributor for Cajun Express in Georgia, Tennessee and North Alabama. Cajun Express is a line of authentic Cajun favorites (such as Gumbo, Etouffee’, Boudin’s, Crawfish pies, a variety of stuffed chickens and too much to list…please refer to their products list). They call this line “Cajun Favorites.” The way I see it, the Gandys have been in the business of seafood for a long time, and with the new ventures ahead, the sky is the limit!
Gandy Family Seafood History
Melvin Gandy, a farmer and truck driver, came to Panama City from Thomasville, Georgia, in 1948 and was soon delivering fish to many out-of-town outlets. His truck driving experiences gave him connections from Brownsville, Texas, to Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 1955, he opened a fish market in Panama City at the end of 11th Street, and his sons, Kenyon and Buddy, soon began helping in the business.
One day Captain George Davis approached Kenyon, asking if they would be interested in cleaning the Davis customers’ fish. Before then, the fish cleaning was haphazardly done along the dock near each individual boat, leaving quite a mess and Captain Davis concerned about safety of the customers on the old wooden pier. Gandy and his sons agreed, and the fish cleaning service became the first offered in St. Andrews for the party boat business.
In 1957 the Gandys moved to Treasure Island Marina and obtained exclusive rights for bait, as well as and the buying, selling and cleaning of fish. This established them in the fish business. In September 1960, they purchased an ice plant and in 1962, they built a fish house on the St. Andrews Marina. Soon the Queen Fleet was back in St. Andrews and the charter boat business began to pick up. Gandy’s gross income grew from $39,000 in 1955 to $410,000 in 1966. Today, Gandy’s is a multi-million dollar business.
Many local fishermen sell their catch to Buddy Gandy Seafood, Inc., who packs and ships seafood all over the United States. Kenyon and Buddy, sons of Melvin Gandy, are mainstays in the fish business and many look to the Gandys for leadership and advice. Today, Buddy and Kenyon are running the market along with their children and grandchildren. Gandys continues to thrive and grow. And in keeping with tradition, remains a family run business.