Consumer sales just the start for new Roger’s Fish Co. venture

Roger Berkowitz standing on a deck that overlooks the ocean.

Roger Berkowitz, former president and CEO of restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods, has big plans for his new e-commerce venture, Roger’s Fish Co.

Based in Salem, New Hampshire, U.S.A., Roger’s Fish formally opened its doors to the public this week, shipping premium seafood to customers across the U.S. The new concept, the company said in a press release, will make premium seafood available to everyone to cook at home, and provide prepared seafood meals that "turn home kitchens into five-star restaurants."

“We have been doing mail order/e-commerce since the 1970s,” Berkowitz told SeafoodSource, referring to his former company that he sold to Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based PPX Hospitality in late 2020. “It was always a side business and I lamented we should be spending more time on this. Given the pandemic and how … people’s habits have shifted to eating at home, I guess this is the appropriate timing.”

In fact, seafood consumption at home soared from 30 percent pre-pandemic to 77 percent in 2022, according to the FMI: The Power of Seafood report.

Taking advantage of Berkowitzs decades of experience in the seafood industry, as a restaurateur and a James Beard Award-winner, he developed restaurant-quality products such as Double Clam Chowder and seafood pizzas like White Clam & Bacon and Truffled Lobster. Other products, shipped from the e-commerce company’s 20,000-square-foot facility in Salem, include: crab cakes, Loaded Lobster Mac & Cheese, and seafood gift boxes. The company is also offering a wide range of raw fish and shellfish, including live lobsters and frozen cod and salmon, as well as seafood-based pet treats, and other items.

Berkowitz originally retained the licensing rights to the Legal Sea Food brand in all non-food service areas such as retail and e-commerce, but he quickly realized that he and PPX Hospitality executives had differing visions. 

“With one hand tied behind your back … and having to get approval for every recipe, I realized that, philosophically, we are on different pages," he said. "We terminated the rights to the Legal Sea Foods brand, so they have the rights to it and should do what they want with it.”

Berkowitz set out to develop new recipes from scratch, and the resulting products featured on Roger’s Fish Co. site are not Legal Sea Food-branded.

The next step was setting up a new facility ...

Photo courtesy of Rogers Fish Co.

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