MILLEDGEVILLE — The Market Basket, a fresh seafood market located on Allen Memorial Drive, is more than just a successful business for owner Natacha Knox.
It serves as a testimony that hard work and determination through adversity and tribulation can produce amazing results. Knox and her family have gone through their share of hard times, but through the trials, she managed to become her own boss, owning a successful and growing fish market.
For several years, before becoming a business owner, Knox worked as a medical technologist in town for a local doctor.
“At the time, the last thing on my mind was owning my own business,” Knox said, comparing her life then to her life now. “I was satisfied with working for someone else and I enjoyed what I did.”
Suddenly, an unexpected tragedy came into her life, which served as the first in a string of misfortunes that for most people might weaken their spirits.
Her mother became ill, and she had to take time off from work to take care of her. No matter what life threw at her, Knox said she was determined to have the best that life had to offer. In 2003 Knox graduated from Georgia Military College and planned on pursuing a career in the nursing field, but she said God had other plans in store for her.
“I have to give God glory for always placing me in the right place at the right time, driving me to my next destination in life,” Knox said.
While caring for her mother, a family member began working for a seafood market in town. Knox was encouraged by the family member to purchase the business. Knox took the encouragement as a sign from God and in 2004, she officially became owner of The Market Basket.
“I may be the owner, but we consider this a family business,” said Knox.
Brothers, sisters and cousins all help out in the business on a daily basis.
The business is not the only thing in Knox’s life that grew. In 2009 her mother passed away and then her cousin died soon after. Knox and her husband, then her fiancée, Bobby Knox, took her cousin’s three children in as their own. Together, they have become a close knit family.
In April 2012, Knox lost her husband Bobby. Throughout all her trials and tribulations, Knox has always relied on her faith. She is a member of Flipper Chapel A.M.E
“I have to give a great big thanks to my church family for always supporting me and providing me with the strength of the Lord to carry on and see my goals through to the end,” she said.
She said she is also thankful for the help and guidance she received from Bo and Mary Ann Sibilsky who walked her through the business process.
Her cousin’s children look to Knox as a positive role model and are following in her footsteps to become positive figures in the community.
“The eldest one is in the U.S. Marines, two are graduating from Baldwin High School this year, and the 16-year-old is preaching the word of God at various church groups in Milledgeville,” Knox said.
The Market Basket offers a variety of fresh seafood including crawfish, blue crabs, oysters, salmon, and different types of fish.
“Our number one seller is still the mullet, and we still do special order fresh salmon,” said Knox.
The Market Basket’s produce is always fresh, according to Knox.
“Our wild caught shrimp comes directly from Savannah, Georgia and our oysters are from Apalachicola Florida,” said Knox.
With the completion of the store’s expansion, Knox also a Fall Line Farmer’s Market vendor. The market is now a part of the month First Friday activities.
“We participated in First Friday and we were set up with the other vendors at First Presbyterian Church. Everyone seemed happy to see fresh seafood for sale, and I look forward to doing it again.” said Knox.
An official ribbon cutting and grand opening for The Market Basket is expected this summer. Market Basket T-shirts and fried fish will be available following the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Although the business is still thriving, the logo remains the same.
“We still stand by our motto: One bite and you’re hooked,” said Knox.
The Market Basket, now serving fried seafood to go in addition to selling fresh seafood, is located at 370 Allen Memorial Dr. The business is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
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