Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Port Buyers: Wild Salmon at the Source

By David Pilat, June 11, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by David Pilat

SalmonSummer means two things for the Whole Foods Market® Seafood team – warmer weather and the departure of our friends Keith and Anthony for Alaska.

Our Own Port Buyers

Keith and Anthony are the Alaskan port buyers for Whole Foods Market, and each May they pack their bags in Seattle and head north. For Keith, who grew up in Alaska, it’s a chance to see old friends (including the fish). For Anthony, it’s a chance to hone his skills buying fresh halibut from MSC-certified fisheries and wild salmon for our stores across the country; this is his third year learning the ropes.

No other national market has skilled buyers like Keith and Anthony on site hand-selecting fish. That means no middleman, and more importantly it means fish direct from the icy rivers and bays of Alaska right to our stores, often within 48 hours.

Building Relationships

Our buyers are busy guys! They travel to each of the major ports Whole Foods Market sources from. They know it’s not just putting their eyes on the best fish that matters, it’s also the relationships they build along the way. These relationships with fishermen and producers allow Whole Foods Market to procure the freshest fish even when availability isn’t peak. We know our fishermen and they know us; this bond means you see fresh, wild salmon direct from the source all summer long.

In Stores Now

First stop on the Alaskan tour is Copper River. Look for Copper River Salmon at your local Whole Foods Market; the openers have been strong, although weather as tricky as ever. Copper River will be running upstream for at least the next month. You can find wild salmon in our stores all season long – right through September. We focus on Sockeye, Coho, King and Keta, and bring each species in as their season peaks.

Next time you buy a fresh piece of wild salmon, remember Keith and Anthony – they’ll be busy at another opener buying more fresh fish and sending it along each and every day.

Category: Seafood




STG says ...
Hello: Excited about the upcoming Alaskan Salmon season! When will King be in stock at my local Ponce de Leon or LaVista store?
06/12/2013 2:17:49 PM CDT
Bayron Baggett says ...
Any chance you guys will get some nice halibut cheeks in your Birmingham store?
06/12/2013 5:44:00 PM CDT
Tiara says ...
Hi when will the king salmon be available?
06/12/2013 6:38:04 PM CDT
sharon says ...
Hi, Just called my local (Sherman Oaks) WF, and they haven't received the Copper River salmon yet. Do you know when it will arrive?
06/12/2013 7:18:58 PM CDT
Cynthia Brathwaite says ...
When will the outdoor selling of the keta fish begin?
06/12/2013 8:15:48 PM CDT
Alice Gilbreath says ...
I just read in prevention magazine that when you say fresh Alaskan salmon it is still farmed Is that true? Is it not free in a stream/river or whatever?
06/12/2013 9:51:25 PM CDT
lisa says ...
Great work! Let me know when salmon is coming to Greensboro,NC please!!
06/13/2013 6:55:54 AM CDT
Chris Gurrola says ...
Thank You Keith and Anthony, and of course Whole Foods for providing us with this information and especially for providing this product in your stores. I know as of lately,due to the shortage of Salmon, a lot of Salmon has been Genetically Modified and therefore generating concerns of consuming this fish,due to possible toxins. Thank You Keith,Anthony and Whole Foods, for providing excellent products
06/13/2013 10:41:39 AM CDT
Omar says ...
06/13/2013 11:40:23 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STG, @BAYRON, @TIARA, @SHARON, @ CYNTHIA - Since our vendors and products vary between store locations, I would encourage you to check with your local store to see when they will be receiving particular items. A team member in the Seafood Department should be happy to help!
06/13/2013 12:58:41 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ALICE - If you check with your local store, the salmon that is fresh in our Seafood department will be labeled as wild or responsibly farmed. Check with your local store to see what options they have in stock!
06/13/2013 1:24:36 PM CDT
susan says ...
Will you be haing a big salmon (or halibut!) sale this summer, like last year? If so, when? We are thankful that you brought it to us last year at a great price, couldn't get enough! We're west coast transplants and love cold water fish. Wilmington NC
06/13/2013 1:30:42 PM CDT
Jason Pellegrini says ...
06/14/2013 9:19:01 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SUSAN - I have not heard of a national seafood sale announced yet but we will definitely feature it on the blog. You can always check with your local store as they might have store specific sales planned!
06/14/2013 12:44:55 PM CDT
Tove says ...
is Copper River Salmon available in any of the NYC stores?
06/16/2013 1:18:51 PM CDT
Keesha says ...
Very concerned about where I buy my fish....and for that matter..all of my food! Thank you! Love this info.
06/16/2013 2:07:13 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TOVE - The availability of products vary between stores, and can even vary between stores in NYC. Call your local store to double check what they have in stock!
06/17/2013 12:57:19 PM CDT
Sharon Huskins says ...
Thank you for featuring my son, Anthony, in your nationwide seafood advertisement. We are very proud of his acomplishments. Sharon Huskins
07/03/2013 2:51:51 AM CDT
Carolyn Knott says ...
Do you still carry salmon from Norway? Is it considered Sustainable? I'm a fan. Thank you!
07/15/2013 2:56:34 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CAROLYN - Our products differ between locations so check with your local store to see if they receive any salmon from Norway. We work with a couple of third parties to make sure the fish we are selling is sustainable. You can read more at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/seafood-sustainability-basics.
07/16/2013 9:53:30 AM CDT
Alex Spieler says ...
Is this Salmon "sushi grade"?
10/01/2013 10:27:20 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ALEX - This would be a great question for the seafood team in your local store. Since our products can vary between locations, they will be able to help answer this based on the salmon they have in stock.
10/01/2013 3:48:30 PM CDT
Alexander Roberson says ...
I recently purchased 2.14 pounds of hand caught salmon from the whole foods in Boulder, CO and the best part was that I also got a free 4 ounce lobster tail. I served some of it to my co-workers and I can only say that it was a hit and by far the best salmon I had ever had...that my word ;))
02/20/2014 10:24:10 PM CST