It's a whale's tail of large orders, pounds of seafood and oceans of fish for Jesse Annunziato, owner of Jesse James Seafood who is busy preparing the hundreds of orders he has received for Christmas Eve and day.
A box truck sits outside his Main Street storefront, packed with orders that wouldn't fit in the store. It is a busy time for many seafood shops who help customers prepare for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a custom of Italian families who serve seven seafood dishes on Christmas Eve. Clams, shrimp, flounder, scungili and crab legs among other delicacies filled the refrigerated cases. Annunziato said he has hardly slept in the last 24 hours.
"This store hasn't seen this much business since it was my dad's," he said.
Annunziato said many of his orders have been made in the past two days. The store stopped taking orders on Dec. 20, but customers can walk in and get just about all they need out of what is on hand.
For the Christmas season, Annunziato and wife Lorie estimates he sold 500 lbs. of flounder fillet, 2300 lbs. of shrimp, 100 lbs of sea scallops, 300 libs of salmon and 150 lbs. of swordfish.
The store will be open on Christmas Eve at 3 a.m and will stay open until 5 p.m. Then, Annunziato figures he can rest.
So what does this Santa of seafood plan to do on Christmas day?
"Sleep and eat a nice baked ham!"