This may not seem like the typical Gulf Coast Moms Blog post, but I can guarantee it will make you have all the feels! When I found out about this story, I knew I had to learn more and share with all of you.
First Crawfish Boil of the Season
So, last Saturday was our family’s first crawfish boil of the season. I had seen Facebook posts from Killer Crab & Seafood in Gautier and I figured I would give it a try. We planned to purchase a sack of crawfish to boil, so why not try out a new mom and pop shop? When we walked in, there were kids behind the counter. Teenagers, actually.
There was also a teenage boy in shrimp boots slinging sacks of crawfish and two teenage girls checking the line of customers out and making sure they got everything they needed. Everything was super nice and new and clean and efficient, but what kind of brand new establishment was run by a bunch of teenagers? Answer: The BEST kind!
Who are these boys?
I spent a week looking at their Facebook posts and noticed that they would be closed one day because the owner had to “finish school” and would be graduating soon. What? Like high school? This business owner is still in high school? I could barely function when I was left home alone in high school and this kid is running a business?!
This curious mom had to find out more about these boys. So, I did…
Meet Chase and Drake Killingsworth, brothers from Gautier, Mississippi who have been doing this since they were shorter than the counter that they now call their own.
That kid in the shrimp boots? That was Drake Killingsworth, the 18 year old co-owner of Killer Crab & Seafood in Gautier.
Chase, 16, is home schooled and is the co-owner with his brother Drake who will be walking across the Gautier High School graduation stage in just a few short weeks.
Their parents, Alissa and Charles have encouraged their boys to do what they love. And they LOVE the seafood industry. Their entire family is in the industry, with their uncle owning a shrimp boat and teaching them that side of the trade.
The brothers started their own crabbing side hustle at around age 12, with Drake owning his first crabbing boat at age 14. Now the pair has more than 900 crab traps, have bought and sold countless boats, and have their own blue crab shedding tanks so they can sell the most underrated sea creature of all, that delicious soft-shell crab!
As I sat at the table and spoke with Drake about this new business, he was incredibly candid. He said that his mom encouraged him to finish school and that both of his parents encouraged the boys to work. This instilled such a strong work ethic in both of the brothers that they have been able to make enough money to live their dream and open a seafood market in their hometown of Gautier. While other kids were hard pressed to make it to the bus on time, these kids were out on the water at 3:30 a.m. bringing in a haul for their customers.
By working hard, selling their blue crabs and saving every extra dollar, they are able to live their dream.
Dreamin’ on the Boat
That dream of owning a seafood market came true recently when they had an amazing opening weekend. While both boys were putting sacks of crawfish in the truck beds of customer’s vehicles, their girlfriends were ringing up the customers and making sure everyone was happy. It was a well oiled machine. But the dream is far from over.
Chase and Drake plan to offer boiled seafood seven days a week, and expand their market to include crawfish, fish, blue crabs, soft-shell blue crabs, crab meat, and anything and everything else you can imagine for the public, as well as continue their wholesale distribution to local eateries. These two do not fear anything, as they are wanting to further expand the kitchen to sell po-boys and other fried seafood “once we get out of school.”
Drake said that he and his brother have always been work-aholics and that their girlfriends understand that, and they work right alongside them, day for day. Their parents understand this and so do their friends.
Watching this eighteen year old discuss the most difficult thing about owning and opening a business was the red-tape and getting all of the city licenses was simply astonishing. He admits that it’s hard to go to school when he is living his dreams outside of school hours, but understands that graduating is important. He has made his own seafood connections in the industry all along the Gulf Coast, and his goal is to provide the freshest, most delicious seafood to his hometown of Gautier and the surrounding area.
When asked what he wanted people to know about him and his new business, Drake’s response was simple: “That we will always have the best seafood with the best prices. I don’t care, I will always have the best prices. And our boiled seafood…we boil for taste, not for spice. It’s important to have the best taste and the best prices.”
It’s their name, and it’s their pride. I have never met two more passionate, polite, and level headed teenagers, and I can’t wait to watch them and their business grow.
So, if you are in the market for some seafood and you want to support a local business built on a solid work ethic and support the dreams of two young brothers unfold before your eyes, take a trip on over to Killer Crab & Seafood Co. in Gautier, as I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Killer Crab Boil Tip: 1/3 of a bottle of white vinegar in your crab or shrimp boil makes them easier to peel.
Killer Crab & Seafood
Drake and Chase Killingsworth, Owners
3208 Ladnier Road, Gautier
228-217-7580 (Wholesale and Retail)
*Note: Gulf Coast Moms Blog was not compensated for this review.