For over sixty-five years Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli in Pascagoula has been a staple destination on the Gulf Coast for those who crave mouth-watering fresh seafood and fantastic po’boys.
Bozo’s is a third-generation family business that first opened its doors in 1956. Originally a neighborhood grocery store, it has grown to be a small town seafood dive destination recognized throughout the world.
Owner Keith Delcambre is the Grandson of EJ "Bozo” Delcambre, the founder of Bozo’s, and the son of Russell Paul Delcambre. He started working at Bozo’s in 1969 at the age of ten for his first summer job, hoping to save up enough for a minibike. Accomplishing that goal, and seeing how if you worked hard and saved your money you can have anything you wanted, he worked at Bozo’s every summer thereafter. After graduating, he asked his grandfather to join the team full time, and has worked there ever since.
Keith is proud to say that over the six decades since his grandfather started the original Bozo’s Seafood Market that the ambience still remains. His biggest contribution to the business was the idea to serve fresh po’boys to their customers. After a trip to visit his Uncle in Slidell, Louisiana back in the early eighties where he was fixed an oyster po’boy, he asked his grandfather when he came back why they couldn’t do that at the store. Already retired, he told Kevin that would be something for him to start, and what began by having his mother or grandmother making a po’boy every once in a while, has now grown into a thriving business that sells 1200-1500 po’boys a week.
When you enter Bozo’s you’ll see a grocery aisle to the right, filled with Cajun, creole, and seafood seasonings & mixes. There are also convenience store-style coolers lining the walls to choose a drink with everything from soda, to sweet tea, to beer. Head to the back of the building to visit the retail fish market where you can get your seafood to take home, or go to the righthand corner to the sandwich counter to get your food cooked-to-order, ready to eat.
When your order is taken, it’s written on the outside of a paper bag along with your name. When your name is called, grab the bag from the counter, and pay for it at the check-out counter up front. Then, grab a seat at one of the long wooden tables, and be prepared to stuff yourself with one of the best meals you can buy for the price.
"Well, it’s the amount of food you get for the most part,” Delcambre said with a smile when asked what he thinks keeps people coming back. "Overstuffed, underpriced po’boys. If you leave out of here hungry something must be wrong! All the portions are big!”
I found this out firsthand when I got the large shrimp po’boy and a bowl of gumbo on my lunch visit. Served on French bread with a crisp crust and fluffy center, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and pickle, I barely finished half of the stuffed fried shrimp sandwich. Taking what was left with the half bowl of hearty gumbo I also had left over, it made for a fantastic dinner later that night.
Besides shrimp, you can get half or large size po’boys of oyster, roast beef, softshell crab, crabmeat, catfish, flounder, ham & cheese or hamburger varieties. You can also get most of these on a bun, or as dinners, baskets, or boxes. With sides such as salads, French fries, hush puppies, crab balls, onion rings, baked beans, and more, there is something for everyone in this festive, family friendly atmosphere.
Keith continues growing the Bozo’s legacy with his latest endeavor, a full service indoor /outdoor restaurant called Bozo’s Too. Located in back of the original location, there is a full bar, large flat-screen TVs to watch football, a stage for live music and hosting family movie nights, and space for outdoor games such as cornhole and Jenga. The extensive menu was created by an award-winning executive chef, and features steaks, chargrilled oysters, fish & shrimp tacos, pasta, chicken, and of course, their famous po’boys.
Bozo's is ranked in the Top 20 Seafood Dives in America by Time Inc.’s Coastal Living. USA Today says "Bozo's is a True Taste of The Gulf,” and be sure to look for their recent feature in an episode of Southern and Hungry on the Cooking Channel. Bozo’s is open seven days a week, and offer amenities such as online ordering, easy parking, live music, and specials for lunch and dinner. With a true passion for seafood, they promise they will prepare a fresh meal that you won't soon forget.
Bozo's Seafood Market and Deli
2012 Ingalls Ave