Road to Boston: Pot pies a hot commodity?

Among the seven finalists in the retail category at the International Boston Seafood Show’s Seafood Excellence Awards is a Boston company that’s latching on to a fast-growing trend — seafood pot pies.

Maristella’s Fine Foods is launching its Classic Pot Pie line of frozen seafood pot pies at the 2012 event, which kicks off on 11 March. The pot pies come in four varieties — Wild Caught Atlantic Haddock with Sherry & Nutmeg, Wild Caught Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille & Madeira Wine, Wild Caught North Atlantic Lobster with Saffron Creamed Corn & Marsala Wine and Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon with Horseradish & Chipotle.

Whole Foods Market, the nation’s largest natural foods retailer, is planning to test Classic Pot Pie line in its Southern region, and then will likely expand to other regions.

Similarly, Hannaford Bros., a northern New England supermarket chain, recently began selling the Maine Fresh line of frozen pot pies, marketed through a collaborative project with Cobscook Bay Co. and the non-profit Cobscook Community Learning Center. The line includes Maine Crab, Maine Lobster, Maine Shrimp and Maine Scallop.

In the case of Maristella’s, CEO Randy Brandano is simply creating a product that he grew up on.

“Over the years, we have always made them in our family, because of the industry we are in. My background is in fresh seafood wholesaling with our company, Great Eastern Seafoods,” said Brandano.

In addition to Whole Foods, Brandano would like to see more mainstream supermarkets carry the pot pies. “Even at a ‘blue collar’ chain, where people are shopping to save money, they still want to eat great food,” said Brandano. The 10-ounce pot pies retail for a suggested USD 7.99 each.

For a company that was formed just two years ago, Maristella has performed very well at the International Boston Seafood Show. Last year, its line of Authentic Sicilian Arborio Rice was a Seafood Excellence Awards finalist.

Next up for the company is a line of finishing sauces for seafood and other proteins. And, later this year, Maristella’s is planning to launch a line of seafood meals and appetizers.


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