Man on Fire-JEFF POHLMANNMar 9th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Top Story
Jeff Pohlmann of Today’s Ketch Seafood has agreed to be the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Roastee! Parish President Dave Peralta and Sheriff-Elect Jimmy Pohlmann are among the roasters! Photo by Terri Sercovich
For 27 years, Jeff Pohlmann and his wife Teri have been providing Chalmette with fresh seafood and smiles, and they aren’t looking to stop anytime soon.
“There have been many tears, many backaches, many headaches, but we’re all still here,” Pohlmann said with a light chuckle as he hosed down a load of bright red crawfish.
Pohlmann, owner of Today’s Ketch Seafood and Chamber of Commerce member, will be the subject of the Chamber’s second annual roast March 29, and is ready for whatever jokes are thrown his way.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Stephen Reuther says a subcommittee coordinates everything with roast including the selection of the roastee.
“They look for someone well known in the community with a fun personality, who would be fun to roast,” said Reuther. “Someone who can take the jabs and give them back.”
And Pohlmann is more than ready to take any jab thrown his way.
“I know so many people here, and I have no skeletons in the closet,” he said confidently. “It is what it is. It’s too late to change now.”
Today’s Ketch Seafood was one of the first businesses to open up after Katrina, offering relief workers and builders a hearty $6 lunch special—a business decision that he is immensely proud of.
“After Katrina we served out of five windows…we had lines back into the street every day,” said Pohlmann. “So many people thanked us, and we thanked them. It was emotional.”
That gratitude hasn’t waned in the years following the storm. Pohlmann says that several times a week someone stops in and thanks them for providing such great service to the parish in its darkest hour.
“We do what we can for this parish,” he affirmed matter-of-factly. “There’s something about home. Your home is like your mom. No matter what happens, she’s still your mom.”
Since the storm, the restaurant has expanded and so has the menu.
“We decided to diversify after Katrina,” said Pohlmann. “We do other things, at different times. Steak, barbeque, and red beans & rice. But our specialty is seafood.”
Today’s Ketch has a strong family feel among patrons as well as the staff, which over the years has included all three of his children. Pohlmann’s youngest son, Jeff, was in meterology school when Hurricane Katrina hit, and still works at Today’s Ketch–something his father is incredibly grateful for.
“There’s a reason for everything and everything happens for the best. I know the restaurant is in good hands if I’m not here,” Pohlmann said. “He’s my right hand.”
Pohlmann, a lifelong St. Bernard resident, moved to the Northshore after the storm but felt that his heart was still in St. Bernard. He and his family moved back to the parish in October of 2011 and he couldn’t be happier.
“You can take the boy out of St. Bernard, but you can’t take the St. Bernard out of the boy!”
The Second Annual Chamber Roast will be held Thursday, March 29 at 6 p.m. at La Bella Vita in Meraux. Proceeds will be shared with Nunez Community College.
For more information about the Roast, contact Stephen Reuther at 504.277.4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org