Born and raised on a Maryland peninsula, Ashley MacBride is definitely at home on and near the water.
And, it’s difficult to grow up on the Chesapeake Bay without being around blue crabs.
“We had a huge covered pier and we always had crab pots,” Ashley says. “Sometimes we’d have the pots out further – near the pilings. I’d ride in the john boat with my brother and we’d get the crabs off the pilings.”
Being older, her brother got most of the crabs.
“That was only until I got old enough to go out in the boat by myself,” she said.
Moving to the North Carolina coast wasn’t such a stretch when the time came to further her education. After completing her associate’s degree, she is now contemplating a degree in oceanography.
“I could never live away from the coast. I scuba dive and am working on getting more certifications.” she said. “I bought a house here. Wilmington is my home now.”
After working at a local restaurant for a little over a year, last December she heard about the job opening at Seaview from a friend.
“I knew a lot about blue crabs and I had some knowledge of the different species of fish from my childhood, but I knew I needed to learn more and I was willing to learn,” she said.
She caught on quickly and was deftly filleting fish within days of starting employment. Ashley credits the speed in which she learned to the working environment at Seaview.
She laughs. “I brag about my fish filleting skills to my friends.”
Working as a fishmonger means that she is always learning about the various kinds of fish in the waters off the coast of North Carolina.
“It’s a learning process, but it’s active and I like it,” she says.
When Ashley’s younger sister was taking a semester off from school, Ashley convinced her to work at the market.
“At first, she didn’t want to because she said it was a “boy’s” job, but she ended up liking it and she did a great job,” Ashley said. “I was really proud of her.”
As the company grows, the job opportunities are expanding as well. One of Ashley’s new job responsibilities includes handling shipping.
“Well, I asked the owners about shipping seafood to a friend of mine that lives elsewhere,” she explains. “They said they could use some assistance in that part of the company, so I said I would help.”
She pauses and laughs again. “I didn’t really realize when I offered to help that I would sort of be heading it up, but I’m happy to be a bigger part of the company. It gives me something to work toward.”