Steve Pucci has lived in Alameda his whole life and remains happily married to his high school sweetheart. He is third generation to the iconic Pucci family that for 75 years ran Joe Pucci & Son’s Seafood in Oakland.
You retired from your wholesale seafood business when you were 60 years old. That seems kind of young these days.
When I took over the family business, I told the widowed aunts in my family that I would manage the business until it was 75 years old. I didn’t want to be 75 myself when I got out! I said I’ll either sell the business or close it. I sold it. But besides that, I was burnt out, and the fish industry was changing. I worked in the family business for 45 years. Six days a week, 12 hours a day.
So, no regrets about retiring?
Well, I definitely miss the people that I worked with. It was very gratifying and actually a lot of fun at times. I had some great relationships with producers and customers. I worked with people all over the world, and those relationships are critical to a successful business. Now, the work
I do on a smaller scale with my son Joey, owner of JP Seafood in Alameda, is in a lot of ways more challenging — but it’s good for me. So,
no regrets really.
And what about your younger son, Chris, the singer?
Chris works in public relations for Bay Cities Produce, which is one of the largest wholesale produce companies in the Bay Area. And in his spare time he is continuing his singing career.
If you could turn back the clocks, what would you look forward to experiencing again in Alameda?
I would love to hear all the church bells from the various churches ring their bells at noon like they used to. I would also love to see our public schools meet the needs of our local kids before those who live outside of Alameda. Seeing kids outside their homes, running and playing with without their parents worrying would be great. It would be so refreshing to recapture that relaxed, uncomplicated way of life we used to have in this wonderful small town when my wife and I were raising our sons. And, of course, it would be terrific if seafood prices were what they used to be.