Categories: Business

Jeff Wong’s Community Supported Fishery

Jeff Wong’s industry insight turns toward community fishing.

written by Viki Eierdam

In 2013 Jeff Wong had a commercially licensed sport boat and a conundrum.

He began analyzing the very disconnected process of selling seafood. He and his fellow fishermen were bringing back sushi-grade fish, selling it to commercial buyers who would then co-mingle their premium catch with multi-day fishers and bring up the average price. The issue: He wanted to earn a fair wage for his extra efforts, and he wanted to sell fish to his chef friends but could not guarantee the chain-of-custody with the broken process.

With a vision of highlighting sustainable fishing and education, Wong began using his own 24-foot, hand-built dory boat and Community Supported Fishery was born. Buying direct from a network of local fishermen, CS Fishery streamlines the distribution process, offers top dollar for the catch and delivers unbeatable seafood to consumers and select restaurants throughout the state.
Wong continues to brainstorm ways to showcase CS Fishery seafood and bolster the businesses of his coastal neighbors in the process. For instance, some of the catch rides a bus. His Oregon Coast fish is the only non-passenger allowed aboard the Tillamook Bus bound for a handful of Portland-area restaurants. CS Fishery pays full-fare passenger pricing for each delivery to support the existing mode of transportation for this tightknit community. Not adding another vehicle to the road is also intentional.

CS Fishery also supplies Source Oyster and Wine Bar in Garibaldi and its food truck, Local Fish. This intimate yet upscale spot features a small market in the front and table seating in the back. A broad selection of wines complements a simple, local menu including the Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich, albacore tuna melts, fish tacos and fresh oysters harvested daily from Netarts Bay. Other local purveyors, including Jacobsen Salt Company and Oregon Olive Mill, are showcased in the market and its
fish preparations.

Ocean-to-table seafood is the focus of Local Fish, the food truck. Fish tacos and fish bowls highlight CS Fishery and its farmers market neighbors. Local Fish makes appearances at three Tillamook coast farmers markets and in downtown Portland on a
rotating schedule.

Using the commercial kitchen at Wilson River School, CS Fishery soft-launched Source Fresh this past summer. A handful of students were employed to create high-end meal boxes that serve select vacation homes and private residences along the coast, from Cannon Beach to Pacific City. It’s Wong’s goal to design a formal school program that covers everything from order management to inventory control to cooking.

Box options include fish tacos, barbeque with Nehalem River Ranch burgers and hot dogs and a breakfast box that includes farm fresh eggs and milk. Herbs and vegetables are also harvested from the Wilson River School community garden and area farmers markets.
“If I can employ a local labor pool and spotlight more local suppliers,” Wong said, “I’ll know I’m on the
right track.”

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Published by
1859 Oregon's Magazine

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