Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Reels In Big Business
Seafood Market Enjoys Success In New Zionsville Location
Writer: Seth Johnson
Photographer: Amy Payne
“There are a lot of people who still think you can’t get good fish in the Midwest,” says Andrew Caplinger, owner of locally-based Caplinger’s Fresh Catch seafood markets. “The fact of the matter is you can get fish as good or better than what you’re gonna get on the coast.”
Having worked in the fish business since his teenage years, Andrew started Caplinger’s Fresh Catch at East 75th Street and Shadeland Avenue in December 2013 with his father Nick Caplinger and wife Courtney Caplinger. Since the original store’s quick success, however, Andrew has opened two more locations of the seafood market — one in Noblesville and one (most recently) in Zionsville at 6685 Whitestown Parkway.
A ’98 graduate of Ben Davis High School, Andrew dreamt about starting his own seafood market at a very early age, while also working with his father at the well respected 56th Street Fish Market.
“When I was in high school, there was a marketing club that was called DECA,” Andrew says. “I put a business plan together that was actually for a fish market and restaurant. So I’ve wanted to do this forever.”
Andrew now estimates that there’s about 70 years of seafood industry experience between he and his father.
“We deal with some of the highest quality seafood vendors in the industry,” Andrew says. “You don’t come across a lot of legitimate fish guys. So, when it comes to the product they [the vendors] are going to send us, they know it always has to be the best of the best.”
As for their recent expansion to Boone County, Andrew explained he had no intention of opening the Whitestown Parkway location until he actually visited the space for a tour.
“I got a phone call from Midland Atlantic, which is the management company that owns the center we’re in there in Whitestown, and they said, ‘Hey. We don’t know if you’re looking to do expansion or anything, but we’ve got this spot that we’re going to need leased,” Andrew says. “I didn’t even say anything to my dad or my wife because I just figured, ‘This isn’t going to be anything, but I’ll go look just to get an idea of what’s out there,’” he says.
“This spot is so open, and it has so much space where people are actually able to move around and look at stuff and not necessarily be in everybody’s way while they’re doing it. That was a huge, huge benefit to it,” Andrew says. “All of the growth that’s going on in the area made it extremely attractive too.”
His decision was further validated upon moving into the location.
“The response that we got from everyone in Whitestown and Zionsville both was just amazing,” Andrew says. “I’ve never gotten the reaching out from local people that we got when we were coming to open up there.”
In the coming years, Andrew and company are looking to open a fourth Caplinger’s location at the Bottleworks project in Downtown Indianapolis. In the meantime, the plan is to continue providing customers with any and all of the seafood they need, whether they’re eating it at the in-store Caplinger’s restaurant or taking it home to prepare in their own kitchen.
“We get deliveries every single day, so if somebody wants something, we can get it in there for them typically by the next day,” Andrew says. “When customers come in, I always tell ‘em, ‘Whatever you want, let us know, and we’re gonna make it happen for ya.’”