Lawrence Schweig did not have shrimp on his mind when he opened his tiny storefront operation in 1950. He knew seafood, though, and was determined to make a success from this small beginning. A first generation American, he and his wife Eila pursued their dreams while raising four children. All would have a role in Lawrence’s growth and success.
As the business grew, the family added to the physical structure and improved it. In addition to the signature shrimp, which were offered either fried, boiled or smoked, Lawrence partnered with local fishermen and invested in boats to harvest the best fish Lake Michigan had to offer. He smoked fish on site to maintain quality control and added another dimension to the business. The best seafood in Chicago would be caught and distributed to restaurants and hotels throughout the city from this location. Lawrence’s Fisheries and Schweig Smoked Fish quickly earned a reputation for value and quality. The retail business expanded to 24 hours of operation to meet the needs of shift workers in the area.