Watch Now: Fishmonger Fulfills Dream as Seafood Arrives at Monroe Street | Economic news


Selling educational software to businesses is in Jim Berke’s rearview mirror.

His days are now filled with fillets of cod, salmon and cobia, steaks of swordfish and sacks of oysters, crab and shrimp.

And while there are other places in town to buy fresh seafood, Berke believes there is more room in the market for a stand-alone seafood store in Madison.

That’s why he opened the Berke & Benham Seafood Market at 1925 Monroe St. The 2,000 square foot store is in an affluent neighborhood, close to thousands of international students and faculty at UW-Madison. and is on a commuting route for some of the 9,500 employees. who work at Epic Systems in Verona but live in Madison.

Berke and Benham Seafood Market

Jim Berke shows off a yellowtail trevally inside Berke & Benham Seafood Market, a store he opened in June on Monroe Street.


Berke isn’t dissuaded by the seafood deals that can be found at grocery stores like Metcalfe’s Market, Hy-Vee, Festival Foods and Whole Foods Market, the Seafood Center on Whitney Way, or many of the small shops that s ‘are aimed at an international clientele.

“I don’t know if there is a separation between us, but there is a lot of space for all of us,” Berke said. “Madison is a great food town with a diverse palate.”

Unlike Lake Edge Seafood Co. on Monona Drive, which has a seafood counter and restaurant, Berke & Benham’s income primarily comes from those looking to cook at home. However, Berke has plans for an oyster bar and has just started selling wine, beer, and ciders to take out.

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