The whirlwind tour began on a Monday evening. Joe Prospero, key accounts manager was behind the wheel as we left town Monday night. We hopped on a plane Tuesday Morning arriving in Seattle around 8:00am. Within an hour, after meeting up with the other 8 people in our group, we were on our way to the historic Vance Hotel.
Built in 1920 by the lumber magnate Joseph Vance, the Vance Hotel is downtown and only blocks from the Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, and other well known sites. The 165 rooms are called comfortable (read small) on their website but were more than adequate for this brief trip.
The weather in Seattle was unexpectedly pleasant. Tuesday was sunny, clear, and in the 70’s. Not at all what I expected for Seattle, but definitely very welcome.
We arrived at the Orca Bay Seafood plant at 11:00 for our tour. We were greeted by our hosts Mike Salas and Mark Tupper.
In business since 1985, Orca Bay Foods is one of America's largest producers of table-ready portion controlled seafood items.
Rather than owning a fleet of fishing vessels, Orca Bay has poured its energies into building a network of global sources. In doing so, the company is free to purchase the highest quality of fish and shellfish from a broad range of suppliers, worldwide. This nimble approach allows Orca Bay to react to market fluctuations and seasonal uncertainties, bringing reliably consistent fillets, steaks and shellfish to our customers year-round - not just when a particular fish is in season.
Orca Bay products are frozen at sea to lock in the freshest flavor you can get short of going fishing yourself. Forget the old notion about frozen fish being less than fresh. That's because current technology allows fishing vessels to flash freeze the fish shortly after the harvest to lock in the "just caught" flavor and preserve the color and firm texture of the fish. Keeping the fish at or below temperatures of -10° F, they hand-cut the fish in single-serve portions so your preparation is a breeze.
Orca Bay's state-of-the-art 15,000 foot FDA HACCP facility and four million pound racked cold storage mean they can service retail and food service customers with amazing responsiveness. Orders can be taken, processed, and shipped in a matter of hours, not days, giving you the products you want, when you want them.
Lunch was served in the Orca Bay test kitchen and consisted of the award winning Orca Bay Foods Cioppino with Alaskan Cod, and a brand new product a hand rolled and flash frozen