a group of people standing in front of a building
The family behind First Class Seafood, from left, Patricia Barber, Adam Barber, Barbra Nickerson, Devin Barber, Shaina Maldonado. TRINITY JACOX/Keys Weekly

Walk through the doors of First Class Seafood market, and the family-owned feel is instantly apparent. Co-owner Devin Barber proudly rattles off the cousins, brothers, wives, girlfriends and in-laws who have over 100 years of combined experience in the seafood industry, with each member contributing to the family’s legacy on the water, at the dock and behind the counter at their Cudjoe Key seafood market.

What started as a small shrimp business has grown into a thriving enterprise that can source almost anything that swims, floats or crawls along the ocean floor. Devin Barber’s father, Adam Barber, long known affectionately in the Lower Keys as the “Shrimp Pimp,” laid the foundation for the family-run operation. 

“After college, I moved down and got into this with him, and realized we needed a name,” Devin said. “‘Shrimp Pimp.’ That was our first name. Then we grew the business enough to where we were able to get a store location in 2022.” 

From humble beginnings, the business evolved into today’s full-service market at 22290 Overseas Hwy., Cudjoe Key. 

“All of us are deeply rooted in this industry,” he added. 

a large fish sitting on top of a pile of ice
Straight from the boat, First Class Seafood Market provides seafood ready to be served. In addition to locally caught favorites, they also have vendors all over the country for regional delicacies. TRINITY JACOX/Keys Weekly

In speaking with Devin and his girlfriend Shaina Maldonado, one quickly loses count of how many times they said the word “fresh.”

“You’re going to get the freshest product. I know everybody says it, but we move stuff very quickly,” Devin said. Specializing in wholesaling, the market supplies the seafood that graces the tables of many local restaurants – and the entire process from dockside to dinner table typically happens within one to three days.

The market always has Keys classics like snapper, grouper, pink shrimp and royal reds in stock. But the family business goes beyond local offerings, tapping into a network of vendors to bring in fresh seafood from across the country. Whether it’s halibut from Seattle or scallops from Boston, the market can satisfy cravings for distant delicacies. 

The market thrives on family collaboration, with Maldonado adding her chef services to the mix both through First Class and her own business, Florida Keys Personal Chef. At the market or in your home, she crafts dishes like poke bowls and sushi platters using First Class seafood. 

“The idea is to host without the responsibilities of cooking,” she said. “We bring everything to make a great meal.” 

And of course, summertime in the Florida Keys always brings seasonal specials to First Class Seafood. 

“We love being a part of the community and seeing people’s positive responses when they come in,” said Maldonado. ​​The market recently hosted a seafood boil for the Lower Keys community. 

“Everyone has been really kind, welcoming, and honestly excited about everything that is going on,” Maldonado said. 
Visit First Class Seafood Market on Cudjoe Key for pickup, or opt for delivery throughout the Lower Keys. They also offer overnight shipping nationwide. For more information and ordering options, visit or call 305-745-3887.

Trinity Jacox
Though Hurricane Ivan kept Trinity Jacox from being born in the Keys, it couldn't keep her away for long. Growing up in Marathon, she cherished every moment of island life, amassing over 400 community service hours, serving as class president at Marathon High School and earning her associate's degree from the College of the Florida Keys. Now, as an English Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University, she's excited to bring her love for writing back home through her summer internship with the Keys Weekly.