September 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Fisheries: Small Business: Restaurants: Tidepool: Philippines RPCV Laura Anderson opens Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport Oregon

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: The Peace Corps in the Philippines: September 15, 2005: Headlines: COS - Philippines: Fisheries: Small Business: Restaurants: Tidepool: Philippines RPCV Laura Anderson opens Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport Oregon

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 9:43 pm: Edit Post

Philippines RPCV Laura Anderson opens Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport Oregon

Philippines RPCV Laura Anderson opens Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport Oregon

She served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, where she helped a village start to restore its coral reef fishery, and spent a year in Vietnam, where she picked up basic business skills helping a friend who ran an international consulting firm there.

Philippines RPCV Laura Anderson opens Local Ocean Seafoods in Newport Oregon

Our coastal neighbors
Local Ocean Seafoods helps buyers to know their fish -- and their fisherman
by DAN SADOWSKY | posted 09.15.05

NEWPORT, OREGON -- Laura Anderson, a third-generation commercial fisherman and a leader in Oregon's sustainable fisheries movement, wants to give diners and fish buyers at her newly opened Local Ocean Seafoods "the best seafood experience of their lives." But she also wants to teach them how they can help sustain local fishing communities.

By educating consumers about the premium-quality wild fish she sells, she says she adds a "social value" to the transaction that enables her to pay local harvesters more than large commercial processors. That helps support traditional fishing families and promote a more equitable fishing economy along Oregon's central coast.

"We have access to some of the most valuable natural capital on this planet," says Anderson, a tall, fair-skinned woman whose easygoing manner belies a fierce commitment to local fishermen. "Our job is to get the most value for it."

Where a ramshackle coffee shop once stood on Newport's Historic Bayfront, the 34-year-old Anderson and her business partner, longtime fisherman Al Pazar, have created a place unlike any other eatery in town. The 3,000-square-foot interior is clean, bright and airy, with white cement walls, marine-colored accents and a kitchen that's separated from diners by only a waist-high wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows with roll-up glass doors afford views across Bay Boulevard to the fishing boats anchored in the harbor and the Yaquina Bay Bridge in the distance.

Anderson's business has been making waves since 2002. While Local Ocean's processing space, cafe and fish market were under construction, the company started selling salmon, tuna and other locally caught wild fish to specialty markets in Seattle, to Whole Foods Markets nationwide, and, more recently, to upscale restaurants in Portland. Retail customers have streamed in since the cafe and fish counter opened in late June.

"We've been open for three weeks, and it's been a smashing success," Anderson says wearily. Local Ocean's menu features both local and non-local seafood, most sustainably harvested and all wild-caught. Besides the best-selling $2.95 tuna taco, other "small plate" offerings include crab cocktail, steamed clams and Dungeness crab cakes. A $7 King Salmon Burger with fries headlines the list of five sandwiches, while platters include pan-fried oysters from the bay and tuna fillet for $10 to $15.

In between the lunch and dinner crowds on a cloudless Wednesday afternoon, Anderson removes her server's apron and takes a rare break at a sun-drenched table by the window. She and her staff are clad in Salmon Nation t-shirts -- a public recognition, she says, "of the connectivity of our landscape and our oceans across a broad area. There's a connection we're trying to foster here, and this is the icon we're using to identify that."

In the course of an hourlong conversation, Anderson returns frequently to the idea of forging connections. It's the essence of Local Ocean's "know your fish" mantra. In showcasing the best seafood, she hopes to communicate the importance of eating locally harvested fish and of knowing the who, where, and how of the food we eat.

That message is on view in the refrigerated case by the cash register, where you'll see that the pink slab of King salmon selling for $12.85 a pound was caught and frozen at sea by fishermen on the boat Summerplace, based in Newport, using a hook and line. The same information accompanies wholesale orders shipped to restaurants in Portland or markets in Seattle. "That's adding value in a social sense," she says, "because it's creating a connection between the fisherman and the buyer, it's telling a story. People are really responding to that."

Anderson's own story begins in Westport, Washington, an old fishing town due west of Olympia. She started catching salmon and crabs with her dad, a small-scale commercial fisherman, when the family moved to Newport in the early 1980s. But she didn't think of her own future in the industry until, as a biology major at Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, she developed an interest in oceanography. After graduation, she served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, where she helped a village start to restore its coral reef fishery, and spent a year in Vietnam, where she picked up basic business skills helping a friend who ran an international consulting firm there.

After returning to the U.S., Anderson earned a master's degree in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University in 2000 and became a consultant to nonprofits who were trying to improve the coastal fish industry through ecological restoration, salmon marketing and community-based fisheries management. In Port Orford, Oregon, Anderson spearheaded a highly visible effort that sought to give local fishermen a greater voice and more responsibility in figuring out how to restore depleted fish stocks.

But it was a consulting contract back in Newport, in 2002, which led her to swap advocacy for action. Anderson was hired by a local landowner to solicit proposals for a fisheries-oriented business on a lot he owned across from Yaquina Bay. After a conversation with Pazar, a longtime family friend who owns several fishing vessels and a seafood market in Florence, the two decided to launch Local Ocean Seafoods.

"I realized there's a demand here and a supply for this. Finding good quality fish isn't necessarily the problem, finding customers for good quality fish isn't necessarily the problem, but getting that fish from the boat to the customer is."

When it launched, Local Ocean Seafoods was able to pay about 25 cents a pound over the market price to its suppliers by buying from fishermen committed to high quality and by finding customers willing to pay a premium for that quality. Now that the market for salmon and some other species is commanding higher prices across the board, Anderson says she's not always able to afford to pay more.

"It just depends on the market," explains Anderson. "I just paid a 25 cents premium for fresh albacore today because the market will allow that. I want it to be equitable. I know what I can sell it for, so I take the percentage I need."

Can her fishermen-first buying practices affect the larger seafood market in Newport? Fishing is a big industry in town, Anderson responds, and she doesn't want Local Ocean Seafoods to grow too large. But she does want to influence the market in other ways.

"We want to enhance our economic impact by creating a space, both physically and in marketing terms, for like-minded entrepreneurs," she says. "That's one of the things I learned in my Salmon Nation work with Ecotrust: how to co-market a commodity in a way that allows the hardworking people involved to maintain their identities while emphasizing a broad message."
Tidepool is supported in part by Ecotrust, which founded Tidepool as a project in 1997 and incubated it until Tidepool's independence in 2004.

When this story was posted in September 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina Date: September 4 2005 No: 725 Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina
First and foremost, Give. Carol Bellamy says "In situations such as this one, money is needed the most" and added that Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans is comparable to last year's tsunami. Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe's Direct Relief International has committed an initial $250,000 in cash to assist hurricane victims. Mayor Tom Murphy (RPCV Paraguay) says Pittsburgh is ready to embrace refugees from devastated areas. Mark Shriver of Save the Children says it will assist rural communities it serves in rebuilding. Brazil RPCV Robert Backus is among the first Vermont doctors to volunteer to travel to Louisiana to treat victims. Ohio Governor Bob Taft (RPCV Tanzania) says students displaced by "Katrina" can enroll in Ohio Colleges and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (RPCV Tunisia) is sending soldiers to help residents of Louisiana. Do you know what it means to lose New Orleans? Contact your local Red Cross to Volunteer.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

Military Option sparks concerns Date: August 23 2005 No: 714 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Latest: Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. RPCVs: Read our poll results.

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: August 25 2005 No: 717 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger.

Upcoming Events: Peace Corps Fund in NYC Date: August 20 2005 No: 710 Upcoming Events: Peace Corps Fund in NYC
Peace Corps Fund announces Sept 29 Fund Raiser in NYC
High Atlas Foundation Hosts a Reception in NYC on Sept 15
Jody Olsen to address Maryland RPCVs at Sept 17 picnic
"Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures" in NY thru Sept 30
See RPCV Musical "Doing Good" in CA through Sept
"Iowa in Ghana" at "The Octogan" in Ames through October 7
RPCV Film Festival in DC in October
RPCV's exhibit at Museum of Man in San Diego thru May 2006

Top Stories: August 20, 2005 Date: August 20 2005 No: 711 Top Stories: August 20, 2005
Jack Crandall writes "Memories relished by WWII Generation"
Cris Groenendaal plays Phantom of Opera on Broadway 19 Aug
Peace Corps Director Travels to Madagascar 19 Aug
RPCV presents "Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures" 19 Aug
Robert Brown to head Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA 19 Aug
Peter McPherson to head national university association 19 Aug
Len Flier says US has lose-lose scenario in Iraq 18 Aug
Ruth DeMaio sends aid to Niger 18 Aug
Bob Taft pleads no contest to ethics law violation 18 Aug
Antoinette Allen is Field Hockey coach at Hun School 16 Aug
Tony Hall Avoids Mugabe on Zimbabwe trip 14 Aug
Peace Corps Receives 2005 Medgar Evers Award 10 Aug
Jeff Wray is filming "The Soul Searchers" 10 Aug
40th anniversary of Shriver's Foster Grandparent Program 9 Aug
Tom Petri writes "It's not just about highways" 9 Aug
Terry Dougherty brings students from Afghanistan to US 8 Aug
Chris Newhall is leading volcano scientist 5 Aug
Douglas Biklen appointed dean at Syracuse University 5 Aug
Greg Kovalchuk and Mike Kelly Find Rare Fossil 4 Aug
Edward O'Toole salvages furniture for schools in Honduras 3 Aug
Gary Mount is Apple Grower Of The Year 1 Aug

The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Tidepool

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Philippines; Fisheries; Small Business; Restaurants


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.