Casting the Nets
Lawrence Schweig did not have shrimp on his mind when he opened his tiny storefront operation in 1950. He knew seafood, though, and was determined to make a success from this small beginning. A first generation American, he and his wife Eila pursued their dreams while raising four children. All would have a role in Lawrence’s growth and success.
As the business grew, the family added to the physical structure and improved it. In addition to the signature shrimp, which were offered either fried, boiled or smoked, Lawrence partnered with local fishermen and invested in boats to harvest the best fish Lake Michigan had to offer. He smoked fish on site to maintain quality control and added another dimension to the business. The best seafood in Chicago would be caught and distributed to restaurants and hotels throughout the city from this location. Lawrence’s Fisheries and Schweig Smoked Fish quickly earned a reputation for value and quality. The retail business expanded to 24 hours of operation to meet the needs of shift workers in the area.
Following Lawrence’s sudden death in 1965, Lawrence’s Fisheries and Schweig Smoked Fish continued to grow under the leadership of eldest son Lawrence and his brother Richard and brother-in-law Bohus Ulicny.
Lawrence left the business to pursue international prospects in the fishing industry, and brother David came on board as a new store was built. During this time, commercial fishing ended on the lake, and Lawrence’s Fisheries transitioned from to a new variety of products, all with the same attention to quality and value. A few years later Richard’s son-in-law John and Bohus’ son-in-law Doug joined the team and the third generation began to work towards moving Lawrence’s into the future. As the surrounding neighborhood began to change, Lawrence’s added a dining area to meet customers’ needs.
Charting the Future
More than sixty years have passed since the dream began for Lawrence Schweig. The third generation looks forward to further opportunities for growth in the business. John Griffin, Kurt Schweig and Lee Griffin continue the family tradition begun in 1950 – to serve you delicious seafood at great value with the best customer service.
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