NEW BEDFORD – Kilburn Mill has added an experienced fisherman to its list of knowledgeable vendors with the opening of Equipment for fishing first floor.
“I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Peter Farland, co-owner of the new fishing tackle store. “I fish and use the products myself.”
Farland comes from a fishing family. His father, along with eight of his uncles, all fish commercially. The New Bedford native recalls his first fishing trip with his dad when he was just 9 years old: a three-day scallop fishing trip from Gloucester.
After Farland was expelled from New Bedford High School during his freshman year, he tried to work it out on his own.
He started a landscape business in Falmouth as well as a painting business, but said he didn’t feel very fulfilled. “It was paying bills, but it was getting me nowhere in life,” he added.
“I just turned to fishing and thought maybe I should go back to my roots.”
Farland has worked on scallop boats for more than 12 years, but admits it’s a tough lifestyle, especially for the family. “You’ve been gone many times, but I had to make a sacrifice to be where I am,” he said.
Started a fishing tackle store
In 2019, Farland decided to also invest in the sale of equipment and clothing, launching an online store through its personal website.
“You basically need a certain type of gear to go fishing,” he said. “Everyone will need a raincoat, wellies…no matter how good you are.”
He said there were only four tackle stores in New Bedford where people could buy commercial fishing gear and he thought there was room for one more.
Farland’s original plan was to be a delivery service for the fisherman on the docks, providing last minute gear or clothing. “Once you’re at sea, you can’t get anything,” he said.
But he struggled to reach consumers, so he decided to enter the retail scene when he quickly discovered the Kilburn factory.
Inside the nautical themed shop
Located directly across from the factory’s main entrance, he said the windows that overlook his 1,000-square-foot nautical-themed store were a big draw.
Farland’s fiancée, AnaMaria Baptista, 34, store co-owner. “She’s like my manager trashed everything,” he said kindly.
Baptista, who has a one-year-old daughter with Farland, said she was excited but also nervous to be in charge of the store, especially when Farland went on a fishing trip.
“Everything I learned came from Peter,” she said. “I went from having no knowledge of any type of fishing gear to finding great distributors and being able to set up credit accounts. That’s how we run things.”
She hopes to add a little “feminine vibe” to the fishing scene.
Farland said the store will be open (most days) at 7:30 a.m. to cater to the morning rush for anglers looking for last-minute gear.
Educate people about scallops
The store offers men’s shoes, boots, gloves, knives, as well as women’s and children’s clothing. Farland hopes to change the clothing scene by offering new brands, including his own. It also has new types of gear, including a pad to cover the stomach while cutting scallops to protect anglers and keep them dry. “No one in the world actually has one,” he said.
Farland said he was excited to open the store so he could educate people about the industry and its heritage.
“A lot of people don’t even know where a scallop comes from,” he said. “I want to try to enlighten them and give them a good experience here.”
Seth Chitwood, Standard-Times editor, can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.