“Since Copper River Seafoods is Alaska’s seafood processing company, being the only one of the big eight seafood processors operating in Alaska that is owned and operated as an Alaska and US company, it only makes sense to continue our growth by investing in Alaska, by bringing this critical business function of cold storage in house to meet our storage needs,” says Jim Kostka, the company’s marketing director. “This meets a CRS major objective, that is tied to the business/supply chain cycle of bringing wild and sustainable Alaska seafood to the market.”
Kostka said the new cold storage facility will eliminate the cost of shipping the frozen product south and then back to Alaska for additional processing, while meeting corporate goals to creates new jobs and economic opportunities for the communities they serve.
All CRS inventory currently in cold storage in Seattle is to be transferred to Anchorage later this summer, and all seafood being processed from this year’s harvest that requires cold storage will go directly to the new storage facility in Anchorage, he said.
The novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe has impacted economies everywhere, including restaurant and food service markets critical to seafood processors. While demand from restaurants is on the uptick, they are not buying like they used to, and the absence of thousands of visitors in the summer of 2020, including cruise ship passengers, is also expected to have a big impact on demand for seafood.
Kostka said that the COVID-19 scare has allowed Copper River Seafoods to reshape the company, offering Alaskans the opportunity to buy directly from them a variety of seafoods through their weekly pop up market, ordering online at www.alaskawildseafoodmarket.com.
Recent offerings include 10 pound boxes of Wild Alaska Halibut Kickers, lightly breaded halibut portions with Cajun spices for $167.95, or the $73.95 Alaskan Weekend Sampler Pack, with two pounds of Wild Alaska Halibut Kickers, two pounds of wild Alaska coho salmon portions, and two pounds of Wild Alaska halibut burger meat.
CRS also plans to expand operations for local restaurants, boutique hotels and retail customers placing online orders from the Lower 48 states.
The new cold storage facility, one fully operational, is expected to create some 40 new year-round jobs, Kostka said.