“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,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO 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.”
The Wanchese Fish Company 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 industry-leading fleet of 15 vessels is capable of providing fresh product to the USA and also has process-at-sea capabilities.
In the late ’90s, the Daniels family began using a new technology to generate the Wanchese Scallop Medallions, which resulted in a high-demand, flavorful product. To meet the growing demand, the family opened Suffolk Cold Storage in Suffolk, Virginia, a state-of-the-art processing plant, cold storage facility, and corporate office for the family’s multiple operations.
“When my grandfather started Wanchese Fish Company in 1936, he never imagined his grandchildren would harvest and distribute seafood on a global level,” says Sam Daniels, President of Wanchese Fish Company.
“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 Inc. will provide another platform for future growth within the capture fishery.
The Cooke family’s strategy has been to achieve growth through acquisitions and organic growth in the seafood sector that is both sustainable and responsibly managed to meet market demand.