Santa Monica Seafood’s foray into foodservice

Published on
December 20, 2010

Distributor and retailer Santa Monica Seafood’s first foray into the full-service restaurant business happened in a roundabout way soon after it opened its second retail market in Santa Monica, Calif., about 15 years ago.

“When we opened the store, the location we took over was a restaurant and the owners of the property wanted to maintain its designation as a restaurant. We just wanted to open a market,” says Michael Cigliano, executive VP of Santa Monica Seafood Co. in Santa Monica, Calif.

However, Cigliano says he and other company owners Anthony Cigliano, Gennaro Cigliano, John Cigliano, Vince Cigliano and Marisa Neal figured they would make the best of the situation. So they set out to operate a combination retail seafood store and fast-casual café and soon found that it would not work well, in terms of customer flow through the store and customer service.

“We quickly decided to switch to a full-service concept, and trained people in two days,” says Michael Cigliano.

In addition to a full-service, 34-seat café, the company’s Santa Monica store features an oyster bar complete with wine and beer offerings. Café and oyster bar sales account for about 20 percent of the retail store’s business.

“This is additional business that helps our brand and introduces people to seafood. People’s lifestyles have become faster paced and they don’t have time to cook,” says Cigliano.

To read the rest of the story, click here. Written by SeafoodSource and SeaFood Business Contributing Editor Christine Blank, the feature appeared in the December issue of SeaFood Business magazine.

Contributing Editor



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