Buying seafood wholesale for your restaurant or distribution company isn’t as easy as buying meat or vegetables. Because the supply chain can be complicated, finding a trustworthy and reliable source is important.
If you’re a local restaurant or a US-based distributor, finding the best seafood supplier in New Orleans may be a great option for your needs. Here’s why you’ll want to get your seafood from a local supplier, as well as some questions to ask before you choose your vendor.
Benefits of shopping from a seafood supplier
Buying your seafood from local sources means you’re more likely to know where your fish came from. If you support responsible fishing practices, buying local also allows you to ask the supplier directly about the practices they use to source their fish (more on that below).
Choosing a local seafood supplier also means that that fish will be fresher. They haven’t traveled across the world to get to you, cutting down on carbon emissions as well.
Finally, getting your seafood from local sources because you’re supporting the local fishing economy — everyone from the fishermen and boat crew to the people processing and delivering your orders. Your support boosts the local economy and helps families like yours put food on their table.
5 questions to ask before choosing a seafood supplier
1. What practices are used to catch your seafood?
If ethical consumption is important to you and your customers, this should be one of the first questions to ask. Because phrases like “wild-caught” or “sustainable” aren’t regulated, these terms are subjective and meanings may differ between suppliers.
Additionally, although “wild-caught seafood” may sound like an attractive option, in reality it’s not so cut-and-dry. Make sure to ask when and how their seafood is caught.
2. Are the populations of this seafood healthy and abundant?
You want to make sure that your vendor is sourcing fish from healthy communities. Suppliers that overfish hurt the local seafood population, while fishing from sick communities reduces the quality of the fish you get.
3. Do you carry any seafood certifications?
Ask your vendor if they have any seafood ratings or certifications. This is proof from a third party that the supplier follows certain criteria to ensure their company follows strict environmental standards.
4. What is your delivery process like?
With seafood especially, you want to ensure the freshness of your order. A look into your vendor’s processes can reveal a lot.
What are their quality assurance processes? How is the seafood processed and transported? How punctual are they with deliveries? When you ask questions like these, the right vendor will provide you with insight into their processing and delivery practices.
5. Do you have any references I can talk to?
Although there’s a lot to learn from speaking with vendors themselves, you’ll also want to talk to other companies they’ve worked with. At the end of the day, their work speaks for themselves.
If other restaurants and distributors have worked with them, ask for a short list of people you can talk to. Ask them what their experiences were like, and if they would recommend them as a vendor.
Contact us for the best seafood in New Orleans
If you’re looking for the best seafood in New Orleans, choose Tommy’s Seafood. We’re a seafood supplier and processor based in New Orleans, LA. At our 30,000 square-foot facility, we process wild shrimp, crabs, oysters, and crawfish that have been caught using sustainable, eco-friendly practices.
We also offer processed seafood products like shrimp cakes, crab cakes, and sauces, and all of our products can be custom-packed according to your company’s specifications.
To learn more about our fishing practices or to request a quote, contact us on our website.