Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

On the Waterfront...in Alaska!

Pacific Northwest native Mark Curran, our Facility Team Leader for Select Fish in Seattle, has been in the seafood business for 25 years, getting his start at the Pike Place Market in 1984. SalmonGreetings from the great Pacific Northwest, home of magnificent wild salmon, which is now in season! In the midst of getting our best wild salmon values front and center in our seafood cases, I thought it would be a good time to bring you up to date about our unique involvement in getting wild salmon to your dinner plate. In 2003, Whole Foods Market made a commitment to sourcing the best wild salmon by purchasing a seafood processing company in Seattle, Washington called Select Fish. For years, this small seafood company has excelled in selling the highest quality salmon found throughout the Pacific Northwest. Yet, we felt it was important to further our direct connection to the fishing industry in Alaska. The main challenge is the state's huge size - over twice the size of Texas. How can we cover 34,000 miles of Alaskan coastline seeking out the best salmon the state has to offer? This would take a small army, right? Actually, no! Instead, we created an Alaska Port Buyer position based out of Anchorage and brought in Whole Foods Market Team Member and Ketchikan, Alaska native Keith Harris, who has 25 years of Alaskan seafood buying experience. Check out Keith's video blog to find out more about what he does and why it makes our wild Alaska salmon special. Keith lives in Alaska all summer long, which provides him with an excellent purchasing perspective of the multiple salmon fisheries throughout the state. Keith will often fly out to fishing areas like Sitka, Yakutat, Cordova and western Alaska - home of Bristol Bay, the largest sockeye fishery in the world. Being on-site at these fisheries gives Keith the ability to confirm that our quality standards are being met and to directly communicate with Alaskan fishermen about what our customers expect. No other grocer has someone like Keith overseeing standards for quality in the state of Alaska. I think it's pretty cool. Let me know what you think. Find out more about wild Alaska salmon at Not Just Another Fish Story and visit your local Whole Foods Market store for tasty demos, salmon specials and all the other ways they are celebrating the summer wild salmon season. How do you plan on celebrating?

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David Barey says …

What has happened to the Arctic Char that you used to get? If you can't get it from Iceland why not Alaska?

Julie Eley says …

Wow - what a beautiful salmon! I'm SO envious. My husband and I still hope to get to Alaska, and he's an avid fisherman. I'm a Whole Foods shopper for gluten free food, and can always rely on it being natural and safe. Your store staff are great, too. It's always a pleasure. I try to help others eat healthier, as well, and just wanted to offer my "wow" on the fish, envy on Alaska :) and THANK YOU to Whole Foods for being a life saver for me with my diet restrictions. You have a great site, too. I'm bookmarking it and will be back. Thank you again to all of you for helping the rest of us live healthier lives. I can't tell you how much it's helped me personally. Take care.

Kendall McAllister says …

I would love to celebrate by going to a Whole Foods Market! I live in Anchorage, Ak and I know what our town is missing.... A Whole Foods! I am sure you all have heard this from others in Alaska. We would love to enjoy your amazing products, especially since we are the source of some of them. I would personally start doing all of my shopping at Whole Foods, and I would love to be an employee as well. Every time I travel my first question is- "Is there a Whole Foods near by?' Please consider building in Alaska so we also can enjoy your wonderful products. Thanks, Kendall