Canada-based Cooke Seafood purchased Wanchese Fish Co., Suffolk, Va., creating a new company called Cooke Seafood USA Inc.
“This purchase is an exciting venture for us, as we add a well-respected, family-owned and vertically integrated fishing company to our family’s businesses,” says Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of the newly formed Cooke Seafood USA Inc. “We have found many similarities in our corporate cultures, not only a strong focus on family values but also on investment in a well-managed and third-party-certified fisheries (MSC)—investments that are core to our family’s business philosophy.”
Wanchese Fish was founded in 1936 and has grown to become a leading supplier of seafood products in North America and Europe. A vertically integrated seafood harvester, processor and distributor, Wanchese is capable of harvesting over 4,000 tons of wild scallops, flounder and other seafood products each year. Its fleet of 15 vessels is capable of providing fresh product to the United States and boasts process-at-sea capabilities.
“When my grandfather started Wanchese Fish Co. in 1936, he never imagined his grandchildren would harvest and distribute seafood on a global level,” says Sam Daniels, president of Wanchese Fish Co. “The Lord has blessed us tremendously, and we believe this deal with the Cooke family, another company built on trust and commitment to quality, will strengthen our company, provide stability for our employees and enhance the product offerings to our customers.”
This transaction is consistent with the Cooke family’s focus on vertical integration and diversification in terms of geography, products and markets. Cooke Seafood USA will provide another platform for future growth within the capture fishery.