By HANNAH COMBS
GRASONVILLE — Fisherman’s Inn was recognized last week with the Cornerstone Award for excellence in Queen Anne’s County. Comptroller Peter Franchot presented the award to brothers Tracy and Andy Schulz Friday afternoon, Oct. 18. Brother Jody Schulz was absent from the presentation due to his recovery from a recent surgery.
Franchot said Fisherman’s was being recognized for their contributions to the community. Small businesses make unbelievable contributions to the state, said Franchot, noting Maryland is the richest state in income in the nation and able to achieve that status due to small business.
This family owned business has adapted to economic challenges and through their own growth has strengthened the community. Small business is the engine of the state’s economy, said Franchot.
An unapologetic fan of Fisherman’s Inn, Franchot said he had enjoyed several meals at the restaurant, which was opened in the 1930s. The late Betty and Oscar Schulz opened the current location that most are familiar with today, rebuilding after a fire in 1980. Betty can also be credited with starting one of the most impressive oyster plate collections on the Shore — her plates are displayed throughout the family’s restaurant — along with their automated train, suspended just below the ceiling, that amuses customers both young and old alike.
The business, now in its third generation, has grown organically over the years, Franchot noted.
With their grandfather starting this business that is three generations growing into four, Andy Schulz said they are excited to see what the future holds, but with Maryland seafood they know it will be great. Their signature dish is rockfish stuffed with crab imperial.
Fisherman’s also participates in the Oyster Recovery Partnership, helping recycle oyster shells from restaurants back into the water to provide a place for new oysters to grow. Franchot said he hopes to see this practice grow from the hundred or so businesses currently participating to thousands. Imagine, he said, a billion oysters filtering 50 billion gallons of water. The program offers an incentive of $5 per bushel of shell up to $1,500 per year per taxpayer.