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Singleton Seafood has a long history dating back to 1942. Since 2006 Singleton Seafood is owned and operated by Tampa Bay Fisheries Inc., located in Dover, FL.
Henry Singleton inherited his father's love for the fishing trade, while growing up in Mayport, Florida, just north of Jacksonville. By the time he was seven years old, he was spending hours taking the heads off shrimp on the docks. By the time he was eight, he proved to be an enterprising young man. He purchased shrimp from local fishermen, and charmed the women who lived along the shoreline into buying shrimp from him.
By 1945, Henry "Booty" Singleton was living in a Mayport shack. He managed to scrape up $300 to buy a lot filled with palmetto trees. Booty Singleton with the help of his fishing buddies cleared the palmettos from the lot. Singleton took out a two year, $500 mortgage to a contractor to put up a 20 x 24-foot shell of a house on the site. He also put up a 14 x 16-foot fish house, built with a lot of hard work and scrounging around by Booty Singleton and his crew. The small wooden fish house became the destination for shrimp buyers from all over.
Always a gambler and choosing to live life on the edge, Singleton sold his small house in 1948, and acquired four shrimp trawlers and four large mortgages. He took his four boats on journeys around the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida, to Texas, to off the coast of Mexico.
In 1949, the Tortugas-Key West pink shrimp fishery opened up, and Singleton moved his fleet base to Ft. Myers, Florida. At this time, Singleton acquired a fleet of trucks to haul fresh shrimp to buyers. Henry was well on his way to becoming the Shrimp King. Singleton then moved his small fleet of shrimp boats to Tampa, FL. He built an unloading station on the docks in 1953 at HookerÕs Point in Tampa a thriving shrimp port, with many boat support facilities.
By 1958, as the shrimp grounds in the Gulf of Mexico produced less and less, Singleton decided to go into the processing business in Tampa, bringing in shrimp and other seafood from all over the world.
At this time, Singleton leased a 40 x 80-foot, tin-roofed building located in the heart of Tampa.
The first 12-inch wide breading line was replaced with larger breading lines and four expansions were built onto the original plant by 1968. By this time, Singleton Packing Corporation had become one of the largest shrimp processors in the world, with distribution across the entire United States, selling both retail and foodservice products.
As the Singleton shrimp fleet had to reach out further for sourcing of raw materials, Singleton led the way among US seafood companies in looking for new sources of seafood products in foreign countries. Singleton was the first American shrimp company to begin shrimp breading operation offshore.
In the 1970's, over 1,200 employees worked in the Tampa processing plant. Two other plants were located on the Texas Gulf Coast, and one plant was in Key West, Florida. Even today, a statue of Henry Singleton, looking out to the sea, is located at Singleton Plaza on the Marina at Key West.
In 1981, Singleton Packing Company was sold to ConAgra Foods, based in Omaha, Nebraska. After 25 years, ConAgra sold the seafood unit to Singleton Fisheries and Tampa Bay Fisheries owns and operates Singleton Seafood. Today, the "new" Singleton Seafood is better positioned, now, more than ever to meet the needs of you, our valued customer and consumer. We are strategically positioned with our vertical integration and procurement partners around the globe.
From Shrimp to Value Added Seafood products, we have specific, target items to meet your Seafood needs.