Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

On the Waterfront...in Alaska!

Not Just Another Fish Story: Wild Alaska Salmon

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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. Greetings 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?