Biloxi Seafood Packing Company
In their nomination letter, the Slavonian Benevolent Society lists this company as exemplary along with other industry giants such as Anticich Canning Company and Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Company, Inc. The Slavic population along the Gulf Coast arrived in America in the early 20th century, fleeing the oppressive rule of the Hapsburg Empire in what is now Croatia. Many of these immigrants arrived on the Gulf Coast and were able to continue their tradition of fishing as a means to provide for their families. As more and more of these immigrants began working in Biloxi, immigrant-owned factories and processing plants began to appear along the coast.
The Slavonian Lodge describes these businesses as providing a substantial contribution to both the economy and the culture of the Gulf Coast. The work of Paul Halat, Sr. mirrors the hard work and dedication shown by the early seafood industry pioneers. It was this work ethic which truly made Biloxi the “Seafood Capitol of the World”.
The Biloxi Seafood Packing Company Inc. was a seafood processing company located in the Point Cadet neighborhood. It was owned and operated by Paul Halat, Sr. This processing company, like many others of its time, capitalized off the rich bounty of the Gulf of Mexico. Seafood was processed and packaged to be distributed throughout the country. As is the case with many other seafood processing plants in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Biloxi Seafood Packing Company Inc. was established by Slavic immigrants in the early 20th century.