“Sassy Seafood is literally my dream that came to life,” says company owner Libie Cain. “I met my husband 20 years ago when he was a Bering Sea crabber. I was working at a design firm in Seattle. So I traded my high heels for Xtratufs boots and my pantyhose and skirts for hooded sweatshirts and orange Grundens [waterproof clothing].”
Cain has now been deck-handing for her husband on their own boat for 14 years. The idea for Sassy Seafood came to her about 10 years ago, she recalls, after they were getting low prices at the canneries for their high-quality albacore tuna.
“In 2009, I finally got enough courage to ask my best friend, Teresa Reeves—also married to a commercial fisherman who owns and operates his own boat—what she thought about the idea and if she wanted to join me in the adventure.” Two weeks later Reeves resigned from her retail management position, and the two friends have been “Sassy Seafooding” ever since. “We couldn’t beat them, so we joined them,” says Cain.
Cain and Reeves have always had a vision to use Sassy Seafood as a sales vehicle for their albacore and specialty seafood products, but also as an education platform. Cain says they pride themselves in being harvesters as well as “advocates and teachers” about the commercial fishing industry.
“We want other families to know and understand why it is so very important to know where your food is coming from, who is getting it for you, and the journey that took place for it to be on your plate,” Cain explains. When people buy and consume Sassy Seafood, she continues, they can feel good about investing in the rich heritage of small, artisan commercial fishing as well as the local economy. She adds that they are also investing in their health.
Cain and Reeves pride themselves on owning and operating the vessels that do the harvesting of their products in the Pacific Northwest where they live and do business. They say this ensures that the quality of their products are of the highest standard, and it guarantees that their seafood is completely traceable.
“It is our privilege to provide the finest quality of fish, harvested from off our hooks and put directly into your hands and onto your plate,” says Cain. “Here at Sassy Seafood, we refer to this as the ‘boat to belly’ concept.”
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