Santa Monica Seafood nearing completion of Denver-area processing, distribution facility

A rendering of Santa Monica Seafood's Denver facility.

Rancho Dominguez, California, U.S.A.-based Santa Monica Seafood is expanding its operations in the U.S. Mountain West region with the construction of a distribution and processing facility near Denver, Colorado.

The company said the 34,000-square-foot seafood processing and distribution facility, which cost USD 8 million (EUR 7.4 million) to build, is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2024 and is slated to open in Q2 2024. The opening will expand the company’s footprint – giving it the ability to service both foodservice and retail customers and make deliveries to 40 U.S. states within 48 hours of pack date, according to Santa Monica Seafood President and CEO Roger O’Brien.

“We decided in early 2023 to forego any M&A activity given the poor economy and the inflated cost of money. Instead, we decided to open two new operating facilities, one in the Mid-Atlantic area and one in Colorado,” O’Brien said.

The first, a 26,000-square-foot facility in Elkridge, Maryland, cost USD 11 million (EUR 10.2 million) and commenced operations in October 2023.

"Baltimore was our third skin-pack location and we now have 100,000 square feet devoted to chilled skin-pack,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said finding a good location for its Denver facility took longer than expected, but the project is now 70 percent complete. The company has hired Doug Verwolf, previously the chief commerce officer at Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.-based Superior Foods as its vice president and general manager overseeing its operations in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; former Prime Source Foods, DPI Specialty Foods, and Performance Food Group Sales Representative Steve Castro as its regional vice president overseeing sales in Colorado and New Mexico; and former Seattle Fish Company Sales Representative Delphine Jadot as vice president of business development for Colorado.

“Given our existing operations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, we see Colorado as a natural geographic extension for us,” he said. “We want to be a local processor and distributor with a local sales team, but with our focus on popular as well as unique seafood species sourced from around the world.  We are seafood experts and with that sole focus; we are not distracted by other proteins and non-seafood products.” 

Santa Monica Seafood describes itself as the largest specialty wholesale distributor and processor of fresh and frozen seafood in the Southwestern and Midwestern U.S., with approximately 300,000 SF of facilities in 15 locations across the United States. The company surpassed USD 600 million (EUR 552 million) in revenue in 2022 and anticipates passing USD 700 million in revenue in 2023, President and CEO Roger O’Brien told SeafoodSource in January 2023.

Image courtesy of Santa Monica Seafood


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