The Best of Wholesale Bay Area Seafood: Getting Customers Excited About Seasonal Winter Seafood

Posted by on Saturday, January 21st, 2017 with 0 Comments

Bay Area waters are home to several species of rockfish, which are under-appreciated and in season right now. Image source: Flickr CC user Ken Curtis

We all know that asparagus and tomatoes have a season (spring and summer, respectively), and being in the seafood business, we are also keenly aware that our wild, sustainable seafood here in the Bay Area is also affected by the changing seasons. Certain fisheries are closed and restricted during some months and open during others. With some fisheries, there’s a huge amount of anticipation around their reopening each year as the season begins (think Dungeness crab), but other fisheries don’t create the same excitement. So what local, in-season seafood can we get customers excited about in January and February, keeping in mind that shoppers are willing to pay more for local fish, and how can we encourage seafood sales with value-added products?

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Prepared Meal Kit Services Offer a Model for Seafood Departments Serving Busy Bay Area Customers

Posted by on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 with 0 Comments

As well as making it easy for customers to prepare and plan meals, meal kits can also introduce shoppers to more unusual seafood, like squid. Image source: Pixabay CC user falco

While I work around food–seafood–all the time, like many people, my life is pretty busy. I’ve thought many times about joining a meal kit service such as Blue Apron, Sun Basket, or HelloFresh to make dinnertime a bit simpler and more streamlined. While researching some of the available services for my family, I was struck both by how little I could tell about the provenance of the seafood, and also by the commitment I would need to make (few services let you order just one meal kit at a time).

Yet, services like these are increasingly popular for a reason. People are looking for ways to eat healthy meals made from whole food while expending a minimal amount of time and effort. As seafood vendors, what can we learn from this trend?

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Increasing Customer Confidence in Wholesale Seafood Authenticity Amid Bay Area Mislabeling Concerns

Posted by on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 with 0 Comments

Source commonly mislabeled fish, like red snapper, only from a vendor you can trust. Image source: Flickr CC user Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

A more recent study showed that the Bay Area still has problems with mislabeled seafood, though it’s not the only city, by far, with these issues.

As a seafood vendor in the Bay Area, it is imperative that my customers trust me to source the most sustainable seafood we can find–and that the seafood we sell is exactly what we say it is. So how does this mislabeling happen, and how can we reassure our Bay Area customers that the seafood we sell is what it purports to be?

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Consumer Trends in Seafood: Fish Belly from Wholesale, Sustainable Bay Area Fish Is the New Bacon

Posted by on Sunday, January 1st, 2017 with 0 Comments

Fish belly is often served in restaurants raw, as sushi, but there are many ways to cook with this delicious cut. Image source: Flickr CC user Jason Bagley

Chances are most of your customers have had fish belly before at sushi bars where it’s known as toro—fatty tuna belly. But that’s bluefin tuna, a species that has been overfished. Offering fish belly from sustainably harvested fish species–like salmon, halibut, and albacore tuna–feeds customers’ love for this rich cut of meat without the environmental consequences of bluefin tuna.

Sourced locally, fish belly from local Bay Area species also has the added appeal of being a hometown product. Local fish belly will also be a lot cheaper for customers than what they’re used to paying for toro at their local sushi bar. And for us as vendors, fish belly opens up a new product line.

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Fill Your Bay Area Seafood Counter with Wholesale Dungeness Crab to Spark New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Posted by on Friday, December 30th, 2016 with 0 Comments

Image of Dungeness CrabDungeness crabs are a natural for an indulgent, celebratory meal on New Year’s Eve. The trick is to offer a variety of Dungeness options. Image source: Flickr CC user Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

 We all know the signs of a customer in the throes of a decision about what to make for New Year’s Eve. They’ll make a pass by the seafood counter, pause, maybe check their grocery list or look up recipes on their phone, then peruse the meat counter before coming back and staring at the seafood again. They’ve already done so much shopping for Christmas that they’re tired of making decisions, and probably tired of cooking, too.

But for New Year’s Eve here in the Bay Area, there’s an obvious choice. We all know this area has a long tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with Dungeness crab, but Dungeness is also the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Its relatively high cost-per-pound means it’s a bit of a luxury item for most, making it a good final splurge for the end of the holiday season. It’s also healthy, local, sustainable, and easy–especially if your counter sells it pre-cooked, cracked, and cleaned, or already picked in tubs and ready to become crabcakes or dip.

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The Feast of the Seven Fishes Draws on Local Wholesale Seafood for a New Bay Area Christmas Tradition

Posted by on Monday, December 5th, 2016 with 0 Comments

Dungeness crab is local, sustainable, and in season during the holidays, making it a perfect choice for customers looking for a centerpiece for their Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Image source: Flickr CC user Becky Berry

One of my favorite holiday traditions happens to be Italian–it’s the Feast of the Seven Fishes, usually eaten on Christmas Eve, and it is the perfect way for us in the seafood industry to celebrate our professional passions with our families. That’s especially true here in the Bay Area, where we have such a wide variety of delicious, sustainable, local seafood that is perfect for this festive celebration. For that reason, I think the Feast of the Seven Fishes should be not only an Italian tradition, but also a Bay Area tradition–a way for seafood lovers to try new recipes and indulge in seasonal favorites like Dungeness crab. So what is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and how can Bay Area seafood vendors make it part of Bay Area tradition?

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Good News for Sustainably-Minded Bay Area Customers and Vendors: 2016 Alaskan King Crab Season Booms

Posted by on Sunday, November 13th, 2016 with 0 Comments

This year’s booming Alaskan king crab season is a good sign for the species, and especially good news for Bay Area customers who care about the sustainability of king crab populations. Image source: Flickr CC user Eric Heath

I know the spotlight here in the Bay Area has been on Dungeness crab lately, and if you’re like me you’ve been keeping up-to-date on the latest news about the local fisheries. But don’t forget about another customer favorite from this side of the country: king crab. Alaskan king crab is having one of its best seasons in recent memory in spite of predictions of a less-than-stellar season.

“From the time we set pots in the water, we were done in 60 hours,” said commercial fisherman Gordon Christiansen in an interview with radio station KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska. “It was amazing, tremendous fishing. We’d like to go out again and do it again tomorrow.”

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Why the Bay Area Is Optimistic About the Wholesale Dungeness Crab Season and What Vendors Should Know

Posted by on Monday, November 7th, 2016 with 0 Comments

As ocean conditions are promising to be much better than last year, Bay Area wholesale seafood vendors should look forward to the upcoming Dungeness crab season! Image courtesy of Flickr CC user Jazz Guy

Last year during the November closure of our local Dungeness crab fishery due to domoic acid, hundreds of vendors and thousands of people (myself included) around the Bay Area dearly missed our annual indulgence in one of San Francisco’s favorite seafood dishes. I also felt for the fishermen whose livelihoods depend on this economically important fishery. It was a relief when the fishery was opened up again back in May, but at that point in the season it was almost too late to enjoy them. This year promises to be different, as scientists and fisheries managers are optimistic about 2016-2017 ocean conditions and the state of Dungeness crab fishery.

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Host a Non-Traditional Pescetarian Thanksgiving Dinner with Online Dungeness Crab Delivery

Posted by on Monday, November 7th, 2016 with 0 Comments

Dungeness Crab

A few years ago for Thanksgiving, I spent the holiday with my friend and her husband. When I arrived at their house, everything looked familiar. The table was set with an autumnal cloth, there were decorative gourds scattered about, and I could hear Dallas Cowboys football playing on the living room TV. But something was off. Their house didn’t smell like turkey. That’s when I remembered: my friends are pescetarians (at least, they’re vegetarians during most the year, and pescetarians on holidays).


I have to admit, I was skeptical about a Thanksgiving without turkey, but the Thanksgiving dinner they served was honestly one of the best holiday dining experiences I’ve ever had. In other words, I’ve come to love my new pescetarian Thanksgivings traditions.

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Healthy and Seasonal Prepared Seafood Dishes Help Bay Area Seafood Vendors Appeal to Busy Customers

Posted by on Friday, November 4th, 2016 with 0 Comments

I’ll admit, I’ve been a little biased against selling prepared seafood at the fish counter. In the past I was happy to give customers cooking advice, but that’s about as far as I went. The cooking was their job. I’ve since opened my mind.

I’ll always lead with the star of the show–fresh, raw fish–but offering a variety of prepared seafood not only meets growing demand by time-pressed customers, but I think prepared foods and fresh fish are mutually reinforcing. A beautiful display of top-quality fresh fish lets customers know that your prepared items are fresh and thoughtfully prepared, too. And if the to-go items are good, it’s my experience customers will look to your fish counter when they want fresh, raw seafood to cook at home–and will look to your advice on how to cook it, too!

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