Seafood importer gets into home delivery in Los Angeles area

Published on
November 6, 2019

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.-based Standard Fish has taken its two decades of seafood distribution expertise into a new venue with the addition of a new home delivery business.

The family-owned and -operated seafood import and export company got its feet wet in the wholesale sector more than 20 years ago. Standard Fish began by selling seafood products to distributors, who then delivered to retailers and restaurants. But the company’s management recently realized that the times are changing and began looking around for a new opportunity, Standard Fish Marketing and Sales Manager Daniel Ragsdale told SeafoodSource.

“We see the way that people are shopping online with Amazon Fresh, everyone’s pretty much going the easy route of ordering food now,” Ragsdale said. “We looked around here and saw locally that there really wasn’t a way for people to get quality seafood delivered directly to them. And it’s also sometimes hard to find a good variety of seafood. So we wanted to bring our expertise in seafood to the internet in order to bring it to everyone and to move with the times given where people are shopping now.”

At the moment, the home delivery service, which is only two months old, reaches throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, but Ragsdale said the company hopes to expand once the service is a bit more established.

“Once we get going, we are going to look at expanding and shipping across the United States, but we just want to get this aspect going first,” Ragsdale said.

Standard Fish Owner and CEO Erik Rosini said infrastructure won’t be a hold-up in the company’s expansion plans.

“We could ship an item tomorrow to Kentucky if we wanted to, it’s not a big deal. We’re just trying to work out the kinks before we broaden the horizon,” he told SeafoodSource. “Fortunately, we [already] have drivers, we have vans, we have trucks, and that’s one of your main issues – how you’re going to get the order packed and delivered in a timely fashion.”  

Home delivery currently makes up just 20 percent of Standard Fish’s orders, versus 80 percent from the wholesale side, but Rosini sees home delivery ramping up further down the road.

“As the years are going on and the way technology is coming, I venture to say internet shopping is going to be more and more mainstream. People aren’t going to want to leave their house,” he said. “People want to go on the computer, know that they’re buying product that’s fresh and have it delivered to them in 24 hours.”

Ragsdale said that their selection sets them apart from other companies that might offer the same service. Rosini pointed out that before his company began operating the home delivery branch of the business, they didn’t deal in shellfish. But it began to offer shrimp, king crab, and mussels because of customer demand. 

“It’s the variety of what we have, the freshness of it … Also people can place special orders. Most of the stuff on our website, you can’t find [in one place], you would have to go to multiple places to get it all. If people have stuff that they’re looking for specifically, we pretty much have access to any type of seafood they could want.”

Standard Fish also uses its existing connections in the industry to bring their customers product they’re looking for no matter the season, Rosini said.

“You can always chase fish around the world,” he said. “If Ecuador’s not catching swordfish in September or October, Mexico’s going to be catching it in October and November, so it overlaps.”

Standard Fish’s experience in the industry has helped it make the transition to a new type of business, but there are still hurdles, Rosini acknowledged. And one of the biggest challenges is dealing not with seafood, but with the technology that connects the company to the consumer.

“The website and the internet side of things is more difficult than packing an order and getting it delivered,” Rosini says with a chuckle.

Photo courtesy of Standard Fish

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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