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Catalina Offshore Products rang in 2017 by toasting to 40 years in the seafood business. The wholesale distributor and retailer will mark the impressive milestone with festivities throughout the year and by giving back to the San Diego community through a partnership with Kitchens for Good, a nonprofit that aims to break the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger through workforce training and other programs.
Family-owned and operated since 1977, Catalina Offshore Products is still overseen by founder Dave Rudie. The company began exclusively as a sea urchin wholesaler when Rudie, who spent his days diving off Catalina Island, discovered a market for the edible treasure within urchins known as uni. Over the last four decades, the San Diego-based business has built a tradition of excellence in providing its customers with high quality and sushi-grade seafood.
Today Catalina Offshore Products is one of the largest buyers of local seafood in San Diego, specializing in wild species found off the West Coast, from Baja California to the Pacific Northwest. It encompasses a wholesale division, online store, and walk-in fish market, and counts some of the nation’s top chefs and restaurants among its customers. As a result of its commitment to sourcing from responsible fisheries, nearly 75 percent of the seafood it sells is sustainable.
Commitment to giving back is also at the forefront of Catalina Offshore Products’ mission, which is why it has pledged that for every 40 pounds of seafood sold through its fish market during the first 40 days of the year, it will donate one pound of fish to hunger relief programs through Kitchens for Good.
Kitchens for Good bridges the gap between wasted food and hunger by rescuing and purchasing surplus food from wholesalers and farmers. Through its innovative culinary job training curriculum, students previously perceived as unemployable transform these ingredients into nutritious meals and products for hungry families. Each week they practice their culinary skills by preparing 1,500 meals for seniors and children suffering from hunger across San Diego county. Graduates of the program receive culinary certification and internship and job placement services.