At the corner of Hull and James Streets, just a stone's throw away from the Reading Railroad tracks, lies a culinary oasis: Go Fish! Seafood Market and Sushi Bar. Established in 2005 as a simple seafood stand at the farmers market, it has since blossomed into a culinary haven under the leadership of Heather Clark, its fearless sole proprietor. From rebuilding after a devastating fire to working through a global pandemic, Go Fish! Seafood Market and Sushi Bar embodies resilience and determination in the face of some seriously stormy seas. Today, we dive into a story that reminds us that life’s challenges and changes don’t happen on a schedule; and when they arrive, sometimes it’s best to go with the flow and savor the flavor of life.

At the corner of Hull and James Streets, just a stone's throw away from the Reading Railroad tracks, lies a culinary oasis: Go Fish! Seafood Market and Sushi Bar. Established in 2005 as a simple seafood stand at the farmers market, it has since blossomed into a culinary haven under the leadership of Heather Clark, its fearless sole proprietor. From rebuilding after a devastating fire to working through a global pandemic, Go Fish! Seafood Market and Sushi Bar embodies resilience and determination in the face of some seriously stormy seas. Today, we dive into a story that reminds us that life’s challenges and changes don’t happen on a schedule; and when they arrive, sometimes it’s best to go with the flow and savor the flavor of life.

The Story Behind Go Fish!

The story behind Go Fish! began in 2005 when Heather Clark purchased a small seafood stand at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Reading, Pa. Berks County’s taste for her fresh and delicious seafood products quickly became evident, leading Heather to expand the market's selection of sustainable seafood options and provide educational resources for customers.

As the customer base grew, it became clear that the small market stand would no longer suffice. This led to the opening of a second location in Sinking Spring, with the exciting addition of a full kitchen and sushi bar. Here, customers could enjoy freshly prepared dishes made from the same high-quality seafood available at the Fairgrounds market, blending convenience with exceptional taste.

Central to Go Fish!'s culinary philosophy is providing Berks County with the real, authentic, sustainably sourced seafood. By partnering with suppliers who prioritize ethical harvesting and ecosystem welfare, Go Fish! ensures that its offerings are both trustworthy and environmentally sound. 

The organization’s mission is to share its love for seafood with the community, placing a strong emphasis on product quality and customer service. Heather and her team are full of life, always eager to share their knowledge, offer recipes and suggestions, or simply send you on your way with a warm smile. Go Fish! takes pride in creating a welcoming environment where good business practices, good food and good people come together.

The Story Behind Go Fish!

The story behind Go Fish! began in 2005 when Heather Clark purchased a small seafood stand at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Reading, Pa. Berks County’s taste for her fresh and delicious seafood products quickly became evident, leading Heather to expand the market's selection of sustainable seafood options and provide educational resources for customers.

As the customer base grew, it became clear that the small market stand would no longer suffice. This led to the opening of a second location in Sinking Spring, with the exciting addition of a full kitchen and sushi bar. Here, customers could enjoy freshly prepared dishes made from the same high-quality seafood available at the Fairgrounds market, blending convenience with exceptional taste.

Central to Go Fish!'s culinary philosophy is providing Berks County with the real, authentic, sustainably sourced seafood. By partnering with suppliers who prioritize ethical harvesting and ecosystem welfare, Go Fish! ensures that its offerings are both trustworthy and environmentally sound. 

The organization’s mission is to share its love for seafood with the community, placing a strong emphasis on product quality and customer service. Heather and her team are full of life, always eager to share their knowledge, offer recipes and suggestions, or simply send you on your way with a warm smile. Go Fish! takes pride in creating a welcoming environment where good business practices, good food and good people come together.

Heather Clark's journey to becoming a restaurant owner was anything but straightforward. Growing up in the rural town of Rome, Pa., Heather experienced a life miles away from the culinary world she would later embrace. With a small graduating class of just 52 students, Heather's early life was marked by simplicity and a deep connection to the countryside.

After high school, Heather attended Mansfield University but soon realized that she wasn't ready for college. Leaving school during her junior year, she worked various manufacturing jobs, including a stint making wire for light bulbs. Despite the hard work, Heather felt unfulfilled. With a meager $500 saved and an old, beat-up car, she decided to take a leap of faith and move to Florida. The journey was fraught with challenges, but it marked the beginning of her exploration into different careers even a brief attempt at beauty school.

"I had no purpose really. I was kind of a little lost soul,” says Heather of her early days.

Heather's true calling began to reveal itself when she worked at Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, Pa. This craft brewery, one of the first in the area, introduced her to the vibrant world of hospitality. She fell in love with the industry's dynamic atmosphere, the creativity of the food and the joy of serving others. Her path later led her to take a job in a local seafood market a job she was dreading, because she had always hated the smell and taste of fish.

"Growing up in the country, seafood other than what we caught in our ponds was a rare treat,” Heather explained. “The Schwan’s delivery truck was our only avenue to fish and chips night!” She quickly learned, however, that she just hadn’t been exposed to the right type and quality of seafood, a discovery that lit up a whole new world of gastronomic delight.

These experiences, along with the support of some incredible supporters, benefactors and investors, ignited a passion that would eventually lead her to establish Go Fish! Seafood Market & Sushi Bar, a place where she could combine her love for seafood, commitment to sustainability and dedication to her community.

Driven by a belief in treating people right and creating environments that warm the heart and soul, Heather powered through obstacle after obstacle (including a massive and a global pandemic) to keep her entrepreneurship dreams alive.

Heather Clark's journey to becoming a restaurant owner was anything but straightforward. Growing up in the rural town of Rome, Pa., Heather experienced a life miles away from the culinary world she would later embrace. With a small graduating class of just 52 students, Heather's early life was marked by simplicity and a deep connection to the countryside.

After high school, Heather attended Mansfield University but soon realized that she wasn't ready for college. Leaving school during her junior year, she worked various manufacturing jobs, including a stint making wire for light bulbs. Despite the hard work, Heather felt unfulfilled. With a meager $500 saved and an old, beat-up car, she decided to take a leap of faith and move to Florida. The journey was fraught with challenges, but it marked the beginning of her exploration into different careers even a brief attempt at beauty school.

"I had no purpose really. I was kind of a little lost soul,” says Heather of her early days.

Heather's true calling began to reveal itself when she worked at Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, Pa. This craft brewery, one of the first in the area, introduced her to the vibrant world of hospitality. She fell in love with the industry's dynamic atmosphere, the creativity of the food and the joy of serving others. Her path later led her to take a job in a local seafood market a job she was dreading, because she had always hated the smell and taste of fish.

"Growing up in the country, seafood other than what we caught in our ponds was a rare treat,” Heather explained. “The Schwan’s delivery truck was our only avenue to fish and chips night!” She quickly learned, however, that she just hadn’t been exposed to the right type and quality of seafood, a discovery that lit up a whole new world of gastronomic delight.

These experiences, along with the support of some incredible supporters, benefactors and investors, ignited a passion that would eventually lead her to establish Go Fish! Seafood Market & Sushi Bar, a place where she could combine her love for seafood, commitment to sustainability and dedication to her community.

Driven by a belief in treating people right and creating environments that warm the heart and soul, Heather powered through obstacle after obstacle (including a massive and a global pandemic) to keep her entrepreneurship dreams alive.

In 2014, Heather Clark faced one of the most challenging obstacles yet when a devastating fire ravaged her successful business in West Reading.

For 10 years, Go Fish! had been a beloved fixture in the community, and Heather had just received a liquor license, marking a significant milestone. However, everything changed late one night when Heather received a frantic call informing her that her business was on fire. Rushing to the scene, she was met with chaos: fire trucks everywhere and flames erupting from the roof.

The fire was traced back to the spontaneous combustion of dirty rags stored in a pickle bucket in the bathroom. The explosion set off a chain reaction, igniting flammable chemicals and ceiling tiles, and spreading through the exhaust system connected to the kitchen. In just nine minutes, the entire building was consumed by flames.

Heather was devastated. She had recently had a baby and now faced the monumental task of rebuilding her life and business from scratch. Initially, Heather decided not to reopen another restaurant. Disheartened by disagreements with her landlord and the daunting prospect of starting over, she chose to close that chapter of her life.

Heather bought a camper and embarked on a journey up the East Coast, visiting oyster farms and enjoying time with her son, Oliver.

This period of travel and reflection allowed her to reconnect with her passion for seafood and the industry. In 2019, a friend mentioned a potential new location for a restaurant close to Heather's home. Intrigued, she decided to take a look. The site, formerly a Blue Lagoon Pool and Spa, sparked a new vision for Go Fish!. Inspired and rejuvenated, Heather embraced the opportunity to rebuild, bringing her culinary expertise and commitment to sustainability to a fresh start. This resilience and adaptability have become hallmarks of Heather’s journey, proving that even after facing significant setbacks, it’s possible to rise from the ashes and create something even more extraordinary.

In 2014, Heather Clark faced one of the most challenging obstacles yet when a devastating fire ravaged her successful business in West Reading.

For 10 years, Go Fish! had been a beloved fixture in the community, and Heather had just received a liquor license, marking a significant milestone. However, everything changed late one night when Heather received a frantic call informing her that her business was on fire. Rushing to the scene, she was met with chaos: fire trucks everywhere and flames erupting from the roof.

The fire was traced back to the spontaneous combustion of dirty rags stored in a pickle bucket in the bathroom. The explosion set off a chain reaction, igniting flammable chemicals and ceiling tiles, and spreading through the exhaust system connected to the kitchen. In just nine minutes, the entire building was consumed by flames.

Heather was devastated. She had recently had a baby and now faced the monumental task of rebuilding her life and business from scratch. Initially, Heather decided not to reopen another restaurant. Disheartened by disagreements with her landlord and the daunting prospect of starting over, she chose to close that chapter of her life.

Heather bought a camper and embarked on a journey up the East Coast, visiting oyster farms and enjoying time with her son, Oliver.

This period of travel and reflection allowed her to reconnect with her passion for seafood and the industry. In 2019, a friend mentioned a potential new location for a restaurant close to Heather's home. Intrigued, she decided to take a look. The site, formerly a Blue Lagoon Pool and Spa, sparked a new vision for Go Fish!. Inspired and rejuvenated, Heather embraced the opportunity to rebuild, bringing her culinary expertise and commitment to sustainability to a fresh start. This resilience and adaptability have become hallmarks of Heather’s journey, proving that even after facing significant setbacks, it’s possible to rise from the ashes and create something even more extraordinary.

Making the Headlines
Read the Legacy News Articles from 2014

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Heather’s thriving business faced unprecedented challenges. Her newly opened restaurant, which had just begun to flourish, had to shut down. Yet again, Heather’s innovation and entrepreneurial spirit helped her navigate through the tough times. Initially, Go Fish! adapted by offering takeout services, which were well-received by regulars and newcomers alike. Heather, her chef and her manager handled all the operations, ensuring that customers could still enjoy their favorite dishes.

During this challenging season, Heather also found creative ways to support other local businesses. She initiated a gift card program, encouraging people to exchange gift cards from various restaurants, building a sense of community and mutual support. The initiative not only kept the spirits high but also maintained customer engagement.

Sagely, Heather used the downtime effectively. With funds from her still-operational market business, she made significant improvements to the restaurant. This included paving the parking lot and setting up an outdoor patio. These enhancements ensured that when the restrictions eased, the restaurant was ready to welcome back customers in a safer and more comfortable environment.

Emerging from the pandemic, Heather reflects on the lessons learned and the importance of adaptability. She recognizes the evolving nature of the industry, especially the need to support and retain quality employees. By focusing on core values and creating a supportive work environment, Heather is optimistic about the future.

Exciting opportunities are on the horizon for Go Fish!, marking a fresh era of growth and success. An events space is taking shape on the upper floor of the establishment, and Heather’s sushi rolling and experiential classes have been smashing successes. She and her team continue to push and flex their culinary muscles, concocting new mouthwatering dishes and dreamy cocktails that rotate seasonally.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Heather’s thriving business faced unprecedented challenges. Her newly opened restaurant, which had just begun to flourish, had to shut down. Yet again, Heather’s innovation and entrepreneurial spirit helped her navigate through the tough times. Initially, Go Fish! adapted by offering takeout services, which were well-received by regulars and newcomers alike. Heather, her chef and her manager handled all the operations, ensuring that customers could still enjoy their favorite dishes.

During this challenging season, Heather also found creative ways to support other local businesses. She initiated a gift card program, encouraging people to exchange gift cards from various restaurants, building a sense of community and mutual support. The initiative not only kept the spirits high but also maintained customer engagement.

Sagely, Heather used the downtime effectively. With funds from her still-operational market business, she made significant improvements to the restaurant. This included paving the parking lot and setting up an outdoor patio. These enhancements ensured that when the restrictions eased, the restaurant was ready to welcome back customers in a safer and more comfortable environment.

Emerging from the pandemic, Heather reflects on the lessons learned and the importance of adaptability. She recognizes the evolving nature of the industry, especially the need to support and retain quality employees. By focusing on core values and creating a supportive work environment, Heather is optimistic about the future.

Exciting opportunities are on the horizon for Go Fish!, marking a fresh era of growth and success. An events space is taking shape on the upper floor of the establishment, and Heather’s sushi rolling and experiential classes have been smashing successes. She and her team continue to push and flex their culinary muscles, concocting new mouthwatering dishes and dreamy cocktails that rotate seasonally.

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Innovation on the Horizon

As we come to the close of Go Fish!'s narrative, it's evident that perseverance lies at the heart of its journey. Heather Clark's determination and adaptability have guided the business through turbulent waters, emerging stronger than ever before. In a world where the tides of change are constant, the story behind Go Fish! stands as a reminder of the enduring spirit of entrepreneurship and what can be achieved when we refuse to give up. At Go Fish!, every visit is more than just a meal — it's an experience crafted with care and infused with an undeniable air of good, old-fashioned hospitality and service. From the moment you step through the doors, you'll feel like part of the family, surrounded by the comforting embrace of good food and great company. “Sea” you there!