Key City Fish seeks to serve freshest fish

Posted 7/24/19

For those shopping for seafood ranging from smoked salmon to shellfish, the Key City Fish Company is a familiar stop, but according to owner Johnpaul Davies, it does just as brisk a trade as a wholesaler as it does in retail.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Key City Fish seeks to serve freshest fish

Posted

For those shopping for seafood ranging from smoked salmon to shellfish, the Key City Fish Company is a familiar stop, but according to owner Johnpaul Davies, it does just as brisk a trade as a wholesaler as it does in retail.

Key City Fish was first established in 1994, and Davies recalled it quickly began establishing commercial accounts around the region.

“From Port Townsend to Kitsap County to Seattle, up to Bellingham and down to Tacoma, we send out four trucks a day to roughly 120 different restaurants, mostly independently owned,” Davies said. “We made and groomed connections to state and tribal fishers and shellfisheries throughout the region, and because of our location on the Olympic Peninsula, we’re closer to richer fishing areas.”

Restaurants like Nourish, in Sequim, that emphasize local produce and clean food, have made Key City a key partner.

Nourish’s menu emphasizes produce from its own garden and fish from Key City. Port Townsend is “an ideal environment to offer some of the best seafood in North America,” the restaurant’s site says. “Local products are harvested from the shellfish beds of Hood Canal or delivered from the remote fishing port of Neah Bay.”

Davies said the “unique portfolio” of sources he’s drawn from and supported has helped bolster the fisheries industry as a whole throughout the state.

“It doesn’t just benefit Key City Fish,” Davies said. “The advantage of Washington fish, as opposed to Alaskan fish, is that we eliminate the need for air cargo and multi-day transport, so we can get our fish to market while they’re still super-fresh.”

Davies expanded on the advantages of Key City Fish’s relationships with tribal fishers, noting that a number of tribes harvest fish year round, which gives Key City Fish a greater breadth of fresh fish to choose from.

“We offer fish you won’t find elsewhere,” Davies said. “The key to our business is providing quality fish, at a fair value and superior freshness, to cultivate repeat customers, both retail and wholesale.”

Another feature of Key City Fish that makes it stand out is its attached taco stand, which helps showcase its selection of meat and poultry, in addition to its fish.

“The taco stand began as a corner of our warehouse that we didn’t have a productive use for, so we started a small deli kitchen there,” Davies said. “We still have a deli section, but the kitchen’s sales weren’t really doing well.”

Nonetheless, Key City Fish saw a future in providing lunch services to the workers of the surrounding Boat Haven.

“At first, we served soups and salads,” Davies said. “We still serve the best chowder you’ll find at any taco stand. But after that, we considered serving up fish and chips.”

Key City Fish opted for a taco stand instead, not only to take advantage of its beef and chicken in addition to its fish, but also because fish and chips “is more of a once-week meal,” whereas tacos and burritos afford more variety.

“The taco stand just caught on like wildfire,” Davies said, noting that it’s been going now for the better part of a decade. “We struggled with the crowds in those first weeks, and we still get swamped during the summer months. It’s become everyone’s favorite regional hole-in-the-wall joint.”

Key City Fish is located at 307 10th St. in Port Townsend and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays.

Comments

1 comment on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
lkatherine

Key City is a real local treasure-- thanks so much JohnPaul , Daniel, and the entire crew- you make it wonderful to live here!!! keep up all those great exotic recipes and treats!!!

Friday, July 26