The late SD Caputo, his son Domenic and current proprietor, Sebastian Mezzino’s father, Mauro Mezzino, founded S.D. Caputo and Sons in 1951. It was originally known as the Solly Fish Shop, operating from the premises formerly known as the Milano Snack Bar on Main Road. In 1953 the partners decided to expand the business and move across the road to the premises Caputo’s is now operating from. 

As a professional fisherman Sebastian’s grandfather, SD Caputo, was always trying to get the best possible return for his catch. Instead of selling his fish to the local fish buyer or the Adelaide and Melbourne markets he decided to cut out the middleman and start his own business. He bought a Ute and began delivering fresh fish in Port Pirie and to the nearby country towns. This idea seemed to work, so he decided to value add his product, which was mainly Garfish, King George Whiting, Snook, Snapper, Tommy Ruff and Squid. To value add, or process the fish he needed extra labour and so Sebastian’s father and uncle joined SD Caputo in the business. Within a few years a relationship began with Safcol in Adelaide to purchase approximately 90% of the filleted fish from SD Caputo and Sons. 

In 1970 the business diversified into the prawn industry, which originally involved unloading prawn trawlers in Port Pirie, Wallaroo and Port Broughton for Safcol and delivering them fresh to Adelaide in fibreglass containers. In 1972 SD Caputo and Sons started processing prawns for Safcol which included cooking, grading, tailing and freezing the prawns in 10kg cartons. At that time the business was processing between 50 and 70 tons of prawns per year, employing up to 30 casual staff at any one time. 

With the prawn trawlers upgrading their vessels significantly in the last 15 years to incorporate grading machines, cookers and snap freezers they now have the opportunity to sell their product direct to wholesalers locally and internationally. Caputo’s therefore don’t employ as many staff now but the quality of prawns available has improved significantly. 

SD Caputo and Sons supply of seafood is predominantly from Spencer Gulf but they also source product from as far as Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and also aquaculture products from the West Coast and Tasmania.  

Mauro Mezzino retired from the business in 1990, Domenic Caputo in 1992 and Tory Caputo left the business in 1998. Since that time, the business has changed direction slightly to concentrate more on the retail side, which has grown considerably in recent years due to the improved marketing of Seafood to the health conscious consumers and also with the ever increasing exposure of seafood on television lifestyle programs. 

Sebastian’s son Maurie joined the business in January 2003 and has developed into a very important part of the firm.

In 2004 it was decided to expand the retail shop to double the original size with new showcases and freezers. It has been well accepted by both customers and employees. Sebastian was most appreciative of Michael Angelakis (Out Of The Blue) making himself available for the grand opening.

In 2005 S.D. Caputo and Sons were joint winners of the South Australian Seafood Retailer Of The Year Award. The winners of this award must showcase the best quality and service of South Australian fish and seafood using the highest standards possible, in a friendly manner at a fair price to both the consumer and to the fisher.

In February of 2006 a Freezer van was purchased to deliver fresh and frozen seafood to the Iron Triangle once a week and also the Clare Valley and Copper Coast once a week, expanding the wholesale trade of the business.
Another example of our business’s recognition for its contribution to this region was being selected in 2008 to appear on the cover of the local telephone directory. The theme was ‘Celebrating Australian Flavour’.

In 2010 S.D. Caputo and Sons further expanded their business by purchasing Baltic Seafood, a business which specialises in Australian Pickled Octopus, Pickled Mussels, Pickled Calamari and Pickled Scallops. All pickling of these gourmet products are now produced on site at our Port Pirie factory with the products being sold locally and Interstate.

In 2011 S.D. Caputo and Sons will proudly be celebrating 60 years and four generations in the seafood business. To coincide with the 60th Anniversary the Port Pirie Regional Council resolved in March 2011 "That the walkway joining Fishermen’s Jetty and the Solomontown Boat Ramp be named ‘S.D. Caputo’s Esplanade’ in recognition of the Late S.D. Caputo’s involvement not only in the Seafood industry but also with the Italian Community.”