Washington Crab

Serving up fresh local seafood

March 29, 2024 / Donna Williams

Serving up fresh seafood, Washington Crab of Farmville has become a go-to destination for seafood lovers in Farmville. 

The renowned franchise opened its doors in June 2023 and is independently owned by Samuel Edwards. 

Edwards has been an employee of Washington Crab for ten years. He began in the Washington, N.C. location starting as a dishwasher. Through hard work and perseverance, Edwards worked his way from dishwasher to head cook, to manager, and finally to general manager before resigning from the Washington location to start his own franchise.

“Number one – I love to cook seafood. When I started with Washington Crab that was something new. It was something challenging,” Edwards said.

“Seafood is not like burgers and fries. With seafood you have to be pretty strategic on how you use your seafood and how you store it. I love challenges and that’s what kept me here so long.”

Opening in the franchise in Farmville at the former Dixie Queen Seafood restaurant was a no-brainer after Edwards first learned of the need for a seafood restaurant, he said. 

“I got a call from (Commissioner) Bert Smith. He wanted me to check out the building and the area. I thought it would be a great opportunity especially since the town lost the Dixie Queen and there were not any other seafood restaurants here,” Edwards said. 

Washington Crab offers a variety of seafood options ranging from shrimp, crab cakes, oysters, snow crabs, blue crabs, soft shell crabs,  trout, flounder, Maui Maui, and more. 

Their crab cakes also consist of 98 percent grab meat – which is unusual for crab cakes found in this area, Edwards said. 

“One of our best sellers is our crab cake because it consists of 98 percent crab meat. Nobody is doing that,” Edwards said, adding most crab cakes are served with 80 to 90 percent crab meat and the rest filler. 

All of their menu offerings are made to order and most importantly fresh – which is a staple of great seafood, Edwards said. Seafood is also sourced from local vendors. 

“It is very important to buy local seafood across the board. We want our customers to feel at home. We don’t want them to come in here expecting something from Maryland,” Edwards said. 

“It gives us and the customer a good feeling when we can say this ia local North Carolina shrimp, oyster, or crab.”

Washington Crab also has established vendors which sets them apart from other seafood restaurants. It also allows them access to seafood offerings that may be out of season during specific times. 

“We buy our seafood from the same vendors and we have local vendors. We have vendors in Virginia and we go down as far as Mexico. When things are out of season in North Carolina, we will travel somewhere to where it is in season. That way we can keep it on our menu year round,” Edwards said. 

Everything is also made fresh to order, with Edwards often behind the grill. 

“We don’t pre-cook anything. With seafood, if you pre-cook it, after about five minutes it is going to be bad. We don’t want to put that on anyone’s plate,” Edwards said. 

“We cook to order and provide fresh seafood. Other businesses use frozen products.” 

Customer service is also a huge focus for the business.

“That is one thing that will make or break a business. If the order taker has an attitude or isn’ts smile, I’m not going to want to go back to that business. Their attitude says a lot about a person and the business,” Edwards said. 

“We train our staff to be extra friendly. We want them to smile. We want customers to come back.”

“We want to be professional and polite at all times, especially while we’re conducting business.”

Looking back at his 30-year old self, Edwards could not imagine how far his start as a dishwater at Washington Crab would take him. Today he is proud of his accomplishments and his ability to better provide for his family. 

“It feels pretty good. It was a lot of hard work and dedication,” Edwards said.

“I love to work. I started off working at about seven years old cutting grass. I haven’t been able to stop working yet. I just love to work. I have a family to feed and I want to make sure there are no hiccups in their lives. That’s why I do what I do everyday.” 

All of their menu offerings are made to order and most importantly fresh – which is a staple of great seafood, Edwards said. Seafood is also sourced from local vendors. 

“It is very important to buy local seafood across the board. We want our customers to feel at home. We don’t want them to come in here expecting something from Maryland,” Edwards said. 

“It gives us and the customer a good feeling when we can say this ia local North Carolina shrimp, oyster, or crab.”

Washington Crab also has established vendors which sets them apart from other seafood restaurants. It also allows them access to seafood offerings that may be out of season during specific times. 

“We buy our seafood from the same vendors and we have local vendors. We have vendors in Virginia and we go down as far as Mexico. When things are out of season in North Carolina, we will travel somewhere to where it is in season. That way we can keep it on our menu year round,” Edwards said. 

Everything is also made fresh to order, with Edwards often behind the grill. 

“We don’t pre-cook anything. With seafood, if you pre-cook it, after about five minutes it is going to be bad. We don’t want to put that on anyone’s plate,” Edwards said. 

“We cook to order and provide fresh seafood. Other businesses use frozen products.” 

Customer service is also a huge focus for the business.

“That is one thing that will make or break a business. If the order taker has an attitude or isn’ts smile, I’m not going to want to go back to that business. Their attitude says a lot about a person and the business,” Edwards said. 

“We train our staff to be extra friendly. We want them to smile. We want customers to come back.”

“We want to be professional and polite at all times, especially while we’re conducting business.”

Looking back at his 30-year old self, Edwards could not imagine how far his start as a dishwater at Washington Crab would take him. Today he is proud of his accomplishments and his ability to better provide for his family. 

“It feels pretty good. It was a lot of hard work and dedication,” Edwards said.

“I love to work. I started off working at about seven years old cutting grass. I haven’t been able to stop working yet. I just love to work. I have a family to feed and I want to make sure there are no hiccups in their lives. That’s why I do what I do everyday.” 

He is also proud that he has been able to turn his accomplishments into a family business and along with his wife Tomeka, he uses the business to help teach his three children – Samaya, 19, Honor, 13, and Jarmari, 11 – responsibility. 

“I wanted to keep them on the straight and narrow. I didn’t have much of that growing up,” Edwards said, explaining that his mother was a single mother who worked two jobs to support the family. 

“I bring them here and try to show them a craft. I show them what it means to own something. It gives them a choice on which way to go – do they want to go this way or go this way and hang out with these knuckleheads.” 

 Edwards is proud of his children and enjoys seeing their commitment to the business as they work very hard alongside him. He is also proud to share his love of the business with them. 

“They love it. Their first paycheck blew them away,” Edwards said. 

Edwards plans to continue to grow Washington Crab of Farmville and hopes it becomes a vital asset to the town and community. He also desires to expand the business by opening a food truck, and possibly expand into another location. In the future, Edwards may also open a fresh raw seafood market,

“That way folks don’t have to go all the way to Washington to get a piece of raw fish,” Edwards said. 

Washington Crab, 9157 W. Marlboro St., of Farmville is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant can seat approximately 197 customers. It also has a private party room available for rental. The party room seats approximately 47 people. Washington Crab also offers take-out, dine-in, or delivery through Grubhub or DoorDash. For more information or to place an order contact 252-228-0174. You can also visit them online at farmvilleseafoodrestaurant.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/washingtoncrabfarmville.

 

The Franchise

Washington Crab has proudly been processing and providing quality seafood since 1972. From its very start, Washington Crab was a family business and has been family owned and operated ever since. Despite beginning in 1972, the businesses goal of provided fresh and local seafood remains the same and they are proud to offer superior products to their customers.