Vendor Spotlight: Wild West Coast Seafood
SPOTLIGHT FEATURE SALE when you visit the Port Moody Farmers Market this Sunday, make sure to stop by Wild West Coast Seafoods. They will be featuring a few special items at a very special price. Delicious Albacore Tuna will be $11/lb and Petrale Sole Fillets $7/lb, a significant savings for you seafood lovers. And if you are feeling adventurous in your meal planning, try the Rocksole for only $4/lb.
We got a moment to chat with Ron Jr from Wild West Coast Seafoods and ask him some questions that we’ve had on our mind. Not only about how they play a part in our local community, but also general fish knowledge, and some insiders information on the next recipe we should try out with our families. Here is what he had to say…
Q/ Why did you follow your Dad into the business?
When I graduated high school, I told Dad he better get started working on my younger brother to take over the fishing business. As a child I loved going out on the boat. It was an amazing adventure for a young boy to see all kinds of sea life not only in the catch, but to see the whales, porpoises. To feel the power of the ocean on rough weather days rock the boat while I hung over the bow of the boat with my cousin trying to reach for the waves. Dad grew up a farmer, but when he moved to BC as a fresh faced 17 year old full of hopes and dreams, it was easy to see what drew him to there. The beautiful sunsets and peaceful mornings, the magic of the sea balanced with its power that reminded him of his place in the universe. When it came to being away from home months at a time, I knew the commitment of this lifestyle wasn’t for me.
I knew I wanted to work with kids and began a 18 year career + education around working with youth/young adults from church youth groups to high risk youth in care with the Ministry of Children and Families.
Dad spoke with me about helping him start a business within the Farmers Markets of the lower mainland when I had burnt out from my earlier career. He was frustrated that he saw very little BC seafood in major grocery chains, especially family friendly priced product. Dad was always about families in his community eating healthy seafood. He donated and worked at Fish Fridays in the downtown eastside and was always made sure his family the freshest of fish. Ron Sr helped establish the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society back in 1994. This agency works collaboratively with the Living Oceans Society and the David Suzuki Foundation to increase industry standards and conservation initiatives.
At first I was hesitant as I detested the idea of convincing people to buy anything let alone fish. This was to become the most time Dad and I spent together due to a career spent predominantly on the sea. As I learned more about his commitment to the industry he was in, this became an opportunity to share with pride the good things my father loved about and brought to his industry. When Dad passed away 2.5 years ago, our family was faced with the decision whether to carry on the business. We decided to carry this torch for Dad as we knew there was still a large gap of BC product not finding its way to BC families. We now represent local BC fishermen in getting BC fish to the market. It truly has become a labor of love as a family project to honour Dad’s life and passion for the Westcoast.
Q/ Why the Farmers Market?
As for my concept of retail, the Farmers Market became my crash course in understanding that when it came to other producers, key themes resonated with food producers that I saw in my father. Unwavering principles involving hard work, connection to the environment around them and continual development of systems that improved the quality of their industry. Having a foundational connection to healthy food correlated with a strong sense of wellness. My connection to the food I eat is 100% due to my education at the farmers markets. The farmers and local producers act as a barometer to wrestle with the idea, “Just cuz we can produce it this way, doesn’t mean we should.” I’ve developed such a passion for promoting local processors/farmers, that I am now managing the Burnaby Artisan Farmers Market on Saturdays this summer from 9am-2pm in the City Hall parking lot.
Q/ Why local fish?
In every newscast around tuna, I keep waiting for a news story to go deeper than warn consumers to avoid eating too much tuna. I have yet to hear a newscaster share this information. Take this article for instance, if you scroll down to the 2nd chart addressing serving limits, there is a caveat about canned Albacore and Product of Canada, there are no serving limitations; inclusive of pregnant and nursing mothers. Albacore is only caught on the west coast and in my mind, this is a very key piece of information.
Seafood contains naturally occurring long chain fatty acids such as DHA and EPA which are the fats that your heart and brain best replicate cells with. Fish also contains significant levels of vitamin D, as well as minerals iodine, magnesium, copper and selenium; great information here.
As farmers market producers/farmers, we are not riding the farmers market trend, this our lifestyle and commitment long before major producers/grocery chains took hold of farmers market principles. There is room for everyone to do business, but you will gain a relationship and education at the farmers markets. Along with this, your enjoyment of food will increase knowing as a consumer you were empowered in your decisions.
Currently, we have Petrale Sole fillets, Round Rock Sole, Albacore Tuna loin and cans, Smoked Oysters, Chinook Salmon portions, Ling Cod, Pacific Cod and Rockfish Fillets. We are looking forward to Halibut season opening and also excited about Sockeye Salmon and Pink Salmon coming in the summer. We will be doing some filleting displays in the near future and some cooked samples as well.
Q/ Do you have a favorite seafood recipe?
One of my favorite new recipes is the stuffed sole from the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Website. Imagine sole marinated and baked in white wine stuffed with mashed potatoes and garlic dungeoness crab in a cream sauce!! Hello!!
Our website has links with each species to our Pinterest recipe files. We love sharing recipes with our customers who get excited about how they prepare their seafood from us.
THIS WEEKS INSTAGRAM WINNER
Thank you to everyone who played along in this week’s Instagram giveaway, winning a $10 credit to the Port Moody Farmers Market the winner is TIFFANYNYAO. Congratulations and please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize. Another giveaway will go live on our Instagram account starting Monday, come back and play along for your next chance at winning!