San Diego native and fourth-generation commercial fisherman, Tommy Gomez is undoubtedly the most famous local fishmonger. A passionate advocate for sustainable seafood, Gomez has developed a large following of chefs and community members during his 17 years working for Catalina Offshore Products wholesale seafood and has used his expertise on his own TV show, fish selleron the outdoor channel, which is currently preparing to film its third season.
Since leaving Catalina in 2019, Gomez has been striving to launch his own business, a retail and wholesale seafood market created in partnership with longtime friend Mitch Conniff of Mitch Seafood Company. The duo’s new TunaVille grocery and market, which recently landed at Driscoll’s Wharf along the working waterfront in Point Loma, celebrates its grand opening on Wednesday, June 8.
Named after the surrounding Point Loma neighborhood, home to as many Portuguese families and fishermen as the Gomes, TunaVille will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday stocking a variety of whole fish and fillets, from large tuna to opa, White sea bass, oysters, which are bought directly from local boats.
The market will also smoke fish as well as dry, whole-aged fish such as California troll salmon and local bonito—a process that hardens the meat and concentrates its flavour.
Gomez says he will continue his work with restaurants, including existing customers such as Wrench and Rodent, Cori Pastificio Trattoria, Saiko Sushi, and TunaVille and will act as the supplier and processor for all the seafood served at Mitch’s Seafood.
There will also be takeaway food available, from octopus salad to ceviche and poke, as well as meal ingredients like cioppino sauce, fish stock, fresh tortillas, and salsa to build tacos. Their groceries include premium canned seafood, select produce, heirloom cereals, and local jams.
Gomez is a big proponent of seafood education, and tells Eater that he plans to remodel an upper floor into a space for classes and demonstrations.