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THE MAR·KET | Fishmonger & Eatery

Feedme Hospitality's newest entity

Shooby Doo Catering, Bar Dojo, and Salt & Iron, all owned and operated by Feedme Hospitality, are located in Edmonds. When another spot opened on Main, owners Shubert and Mira Ho and Andrew and Ciara Leckie had to decide if it was time to expand. "We had to think it over," says Shubert. "We like bringing something to Edmonds that isn't here, something people will appreciate." Considering the immediate popularity of THE MAR·KET, their choice was wise.

Chef Hans Korompis (left) and Co-Owner Shubert Ho

Amazed that Edmonds didn't have a place to buy fresh fish and get great seafood take out, they decided their fourth spot would be just that. "We're here to provide great food and service," says Shubert. "Even though it's quick serve, the ingredients are fine dining quality. We want to keep it as humble as possible; we're a family-run business that wants to make money to take care of our employees, and better the community." It's a pay-it-forward thing. Their landlord, the Mayo family, charge reasonably because they know it's tough to make money in the restaurant business, and they want to keep Edmonds quaint, a neighborhood where people know each other. "If they charged differently, we wouldn't be here. And we might not have opened MAR·KET if we hadn't wanted to give our employees more opportunity. For instance, our Chef de Cuisine Hans Korompis has worked every position at Salt & Iron and we wanted to let him lead, so he moved to MAR·KET."

They planned MAR·KET for six months. "When I saw the shape this 95+-year-old building was in, I decided we would not put in a whole kitchen. The idea of a fishmonger that sells chowder lent itself to the no hood/few sinks plan. We go through hundreds of pounds of fish a week in our other restaurants and catering, so it would be easy for us. The more we talked about it, the more we wanted fish tacos, what I ate growing up in Santa Cruz, and fish and chips which should exist in Edmonds. We decided to open with those as well as other items, with more to come. In went the full kitchen. Instead of an April opening, we opened the weekend of Father's Day, the Edmonds Art Festival, Farmers Market. It was crazy busy. With the walk-up window, people saw a line and wanted to check it out. We're geared toward foot traffic; no one should have to wait more than 15 minutes." There are 10 seats inside, and they've added sidewalk tables and chairs. "Fish sales were slow the first few weeks. It takes time for people to remember they can find fish downtown. We'll even shuck the oysters they buy to take home. We shuck over 10,000 oysters a month at Salt & Iron during the summer, so this is no problem!"

It started in 2007 when Shubert and Mira opened Shooby Doo Catering, operating from a shared kitchen on lower Queen Anne for 4-5 years. Shubert's dream, after graduating from the Mission College hospitality management and culinary program in Santa Clara, was to own a restaurant. "It's very expensive to open a restaurant; catering is a way into the food business without lots of dollars up front." After graduating in 2003, he moved here to be with Mira while she was at the UW. He worked at Piatti in the U Village.

Mira's family was close to their cousins and visited frequently. One of her cousins is Andrew Leckie, which is how the two men met. Both Mira and Ciara are teachers. Ciara took a teaching job abroad and Andrew went with her. On their return, Shubert reminded Andrew they had talked about opening a restaurant together. Andrew is a bartender by trade and worked at most of the Duke's locations, as well as front of the house positions. When Shubert saw a restaurant had failed at 5 Corners and could be leased with a fairly new kitchen, Bar Dojo was born, opening in 2013. The kitchen served both the restaurant and catering company. "Asian fusion and specialty cocktails was a great concept. There wasn't anything like it around. The economy was down; it grew slowly. The City beautified the area and added a round about for traffic control and it made a huge difference in visibility. Business boomed. Within two years, we had outgrown the kitchen. Our wedding business continues to grow, and we do upwards of 100 each year. We found a place down the block that became our catering kitchen. The company caters food and beverage and coordinates rentals and staffing, and works with multiple venues, as well as catering in private homes for 20. We handle weddings up to 400."

Happy with their catering and restaurant, they weren't looking for more, yet Shubert saw an empty cupcake shop on Main Street. "It was a growing economy and Edmonds needed eateries. We decided on steaks and oysters. We started construction on our 1500 square feet. Then Bill the Butcher next door closed, and we were offered that space. It was a visible corner spot, so we decided to leap. We finished one side and opened. The first 4-6 months were very busy; six months later the combined space was done. It was a great success."

Salt & Iron is part of the James Beard Smart Catch Program, meaning they use sustainable seafood. Ultimately, MAR·KET will do the same. When possible and appropriate, they use organic ingredients and produce. They're focused on relationships with local farms and companies.

Both couples live in Edmonds and each have two daughters in elementary school. They now have over 100 employees. Which brings us to work/life balance. "Having our businesses where we live helps keep that balance." Yet Shubert has "about 20 more concepts in my mind, I never stop. If everything aligns, we'd consider doing something more. Probably it would be a French bakery with rustic breads and croissants." We can get behind that.

508 Main Street
Edmonds, WA 98020

Bar Dojo
8404 Bowdoin Way
Edmonds, WA 98026

Salt & Iron
321 Main Street
Edmonds, WA 98020

Shooby Doo Catering

Connie Adams/August 2018

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