Catch 49 expands into wholesale market
Catch 49, a program that delivers local Alaskan seafood throughout the state, has begun to move into the wholesale market as its customer base creeps towards 1,000.
Their new clients include the Princess Holland America lodges in Denali National Park and the Muse restaurant at the Anchorage Museum. Catch 49 also begun distributing seafood through North Star Quality Meats, which supplies proteins to stores in more rural parts of the state.
“We’re really proud to be one of the first people [to] supply Alaska caught seafood to those rural communities. It’s kind of shocking they weren’t getting that before. But we’re happy to be filling that gap,” Catch 49 Director Katy Rexford told Alaska Fish Radio.
Typically, Clients place their seafood orders and then pick them up at a hub a few weeks later when the catch arrives, but Catch 49 has recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store (which allows customers to bypass the order system) located at its distribution center at 15th and Gambell in Anchorage.
“Previously the model was to have four or five offerings per year - now we’re able to have our distribution center open every Thursday from noon until six [p.m.]. So people in the Anchorage area can order seafood year-round and come and pick it up. We’re trying to position ourselves as a more regular source of sustainable seafood,” Rexford said.
Customers can purchase a wide range of local seafood from Kodiak jig caught rockfish to Tanner crab to Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. According to Rexford, around 15 boats provide seafood for Catch 49 and the program is searching for more fishermen as they expand and grow.
The program, often referred to as boat-to-table, is now in its eighth year and is a branch of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. All of the proceeds go towards supporting sustainable fisheries.