Pure Fish Works

Pure Fish Works' new shop is located 501 Vermilion St. in Hastings. They sell a variety of freshwater fish and reptiles. 

Shawn Flynn has been a fish enthusiast for over 20 years and has been breeding and selling freshwater fish through his business Pure Fish Works for the past decade.

After operating his business from his home and traveling to shows across the Midwest to sell his fish, Flynn is opening a physical shop on Vermillion Street this weekend.

Pure Fish Works, located at 501 Vermilion St. in Hastings, will be celebrating its grand opening Saturday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“I have people from all over the Midwest that I sell to and ship to and now they have a place they can come to,” Flynn said.

Pure Fish Works is a family business run by Flynn, his wife Sarah and their  children.

Flynn specializes in breeding several different species of freshwater fish and is an expert in freshwater fish from South America.

Along with the new shop location, Flynn is adding reptiles to the store, so people can now come purchase geckos, snakes, turtles, chameleons and other reptiles.

Following the grand opening, Pure Fish Works will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How it all began

Flynn has been a fish enthusiast for over 20 years, but prior to finding his passion, he said he never dreamed of running a fish shop.

“I hated fish,” he said. “I like fishing, but never in my wildest dreams did I think of opening a fish shop.”

What sparked the passion was when his wife, Sarah, got a pet fish.

“At the time I had a painting business that was kind of stressful and I’d come home, and I’d sit there and watch this fish and go ‘wow this is kind of relaxing’,” he said.

From there, Shawn and Sarah purchased more fish and Shawn began researching how to care for all kinds of fish.

But once Shawn started researching and creating habitats for South American freshwater fish, that’s where he really found his passion in caring for fish.

Fast forward a few years later, Flynn said his family had fallen on hard financial times and decided to start breeding and selling fish from their home as an extra source of income.

“We prayed about it and figured out we’ll start with four or five tanks and if they produce babies, we’ll continue,” he said.

From there, Flynn said the business took off. “That led from four tanks to 30 tanks, to 70 tanks, to 100 tanks and 180 tanks is the last [amount] we had in our basement.”

Through Pure Fish Works, Flynn and his family have shipped fish to every state in the U.S., apart from Alaska, and has imported caught and bred fish from across South America.

“So that sped up to here and now we have 200 or more tanks,” Flynn said.

Those interested in checking out the new shop can stop by the grand opening of Pure Fish Works on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or check out the website at PureFishWorks.com.

Written By


Sophia Voight is a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette. She is from Oshkosh, WI and graduated from the UW Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2021. She can be reached with any news tips at svoight@orourkemediagroup.com


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