By Cliff White, Executive Editor
Published on Thursday, December 29, 2016
San Diego, California-based Catalina Offshore Products has made a charitable pledge for 2017 to mark its 40th year in business.
Catalina Offshore Products will partner with Kitchens for Good, a nonprofit that collects surplus food from wholesalers and farmers and trains students to cook nutritious meals for hungry families. Through the first 40 days of 2017, the wholesale distributor and retailer will donate one pound of fish to Kitchens for Good for every 40 pounds of seafood it sells through its fish market. Catalina Offshore Products estimates its pledge will provide Kitchens for Good with more than 1,000 servings of fish for meals for the hungry.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the community that has helped us prosper over the past 40 years,” said company founder and CEO Dave Rudie. “We are fortunate to have access to incredible local seafood and donating our surplus to Kitchens for Good not only enables us to help people in need, it saves a viable resource from going to waste while helping to educate a future workforce.”
Since initiating a partnership with Kitchens for Good in early 2016, Catalina Offshore Products has hired six graduates from the program, either as interns or employees.
The company also gives back to the community in San Diego through a volunteer-run dinner series called “Collaboration Kitchen,” which raises money for other nonprofits. Created six years ago by the company’s fishmonger, Tommy Gomes, its mission is based in educating consumers about seafood, promoting local chefs and supporting local charities.
Founded in 1977 by Rudie, Catalina Offshore Products is still owned and operated by Rudie and his family. Rudie founded the company as a sea urchin wholesaler, selling both domestically and exporting to Asia.
In the past 40 years, the company has grown into one of the largest buyers of local seafood in California, specializing in wild species found off the West Coast from Baja California to the Pacific Northwest. The company now an online store and walk-in fish market in addition to its wholesale division. According to the company, nearly 75 percent of the seafood Catalina Offshore Products sells is sustainable and much of it is sushi-grade.