Santa Monica Seafood names its top suppliers of 2017, reveals new expansion plans
Family-owned specialty seafood wholesaler Santa Monica Seafood held its 11th Annual Supplier Summit on Monday, 20 February, in Long Beach, California, with more than 150 of the distributor’s top suppliers in attendance.
Santa Monica Seafood discussed its latest achievements and its 2018 growth plans during the celebratory gathering, and then awarded business partners who provided the company with superior service in 2017. The awards were segmented into three categories: Service Provider of the Year, Innovator Award, and Supplier of the Year.
Global consulting firm Alexander Proudfoot was named as Santa Monica’s Service Provider of the Year, for helping the distributor complete “a comprehensive revamp of all areas of operations,” which resulted in improvement of efficiencies and profitability across the board, Santa Monica said.
The Innovator Award was granted to Vernon, California-based New Zealand Seafoods for its series of new product lines and launches in 2017, as well as “excellent in-field support to the Santa Monica Seafood sales team.”
Boston Wholesale Lobster Corporation, based out of Lynn, Massachusetts, was named the 2017 Supplier of the Year. The company, which is one of Santa Monica’s principle suppliers of live lobster, was able to maintain a “consistent pipeline of product, and provided valuable insights on market conditions” during a tumultuous year full of fluctuating supply and prices, said the distributor.
Each winner was picked following an extensive analytical process undertaken by Santa Monica Seafood’s leadership and procurement teams, Santa Monica Seafood President and CEO Roger O’Brien said.
“Choosing each of our three winners is something our entire leadership team as well as our procurement team put a lot of thought and debate into,” O’Brien said. “We can buy product and obtain services from numerous sources. However, we are looking for suppliers and service providers that have gone above-and-beyond to help us reduce our costs, improve our operations and are desirous of continuing to grow and expand with us. Santa Monica Seafood needs to be the best; therefore, our suppliers and service providers need to be the best. These three winners are just that – the best."
Alongside recognizing its key supplier and business partners, Santa Monica Seafood also revealed some of its 2018 strategy during its Supplier Summit. The company announced plans to expand its Ethos Seafood division’s pre-packed chilled seafood operations into the U.S. Midwest with a new, state-of-the-art facility to be constructed in Illinois. Production at the new plant is tentatively scheduled to commence during the second quarter of 2018, and will extend Santa Monica Seafood’s capabilities to supply to more than 60 percent of the United States, the company said in a press release.
The new facilities primary focus will be honed upon pre-packaged raw and value-added chilled seafood, noted O’Brien.
“Our focus at this facility will be on high-quality, certified pre-packaged raw and value-added chilled seafood products for sale primarily to retailers. We are in the process of installing state-of-the-art equipment, similar to what we have at our main Rancho Dominguez, California facility, as well as implementing all of our food safety standards, safety programs and operational systems and processes,” he said.
Approximately 80 percent of all chilled seafood across the pond in the United Kingdom’s retail market is sold in pre-pack format, a packaging presentation that is quickly catching on in the United States, according to O’Brien.
“Convenience, ideal portion sizes, easy handling and displaying, clear labeling and presentation of the product, less waste, longer shelf-life, how to cook and recipe ideas have all contributed to the growth in this dynamic retail category," he said. "This new facility will offer a range of species including seasonal items and regionally popular items."