"Walcan creates seafood products that keep consumers coming back for more. Our product specialties include fresh commercially caught wild salmon, retort salmon, salmon roe, BC spot prawns and bait and food grade herring."

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Many companies in Canada had to pivot to stay alive and made deft moves through the pandemic of Covid-19 in 2020, and one of those companies is Walcan Seafood of Heriot Bay, B.C.. They process and market fresh seafood from Quadra Island, beside Campbell River, B.C.. 


They deliver fresh and frozen fish and prawns and seafood products directly to customers on Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver. Walcan Seafood switched to including direct sales to customers, expanding from purely processing and shipping seafood, and they added a Red Seal Chef and menu to the online business.  

It was a case of 'turning on a dime.' "We were in the same position as everybody else last March (2020)," says Grant McNeil, Sales Manager, Walcan Seafoods. "Covid-19 restrictions fell into place and many of our traditional channels disappeared overnight." They had salmon, prawns, and tuna in freezers to move, and needed to find out where it could go. 

"One of the ideas was to put up a website and sell direct to customers. We offered free delivery on purchases over $20, delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Quadra Island and Campbell River. Our first Tuesday we had 40 orders, our next day, Thursday, we had 80 orders."

At that moment, management realized Tide To Table would be filling their larders with fresh wild fish and seafood online in a demanding market. A wider program to expand sales direct to customers went through planning phases. They opened the market to the south on the island, to Nanaimo, then Victoria, then filling the gap from Mill Bay to Ladysmith all in 2020.  Earlier this year (2021) we crossed the Inside Passage to Metro Vancouver."

The Metro Vancouver expansion is serving Richmond, Langley, Surrey, Delta, Burnaby and New Westminster. "We transport by 40 foot container truck to a fleet of sprinter vans and independent distribution companies contracted to deliver a variety of new fish product to your door."

Walcan Seafood's shop-online menu of Tide to Table is a mouth-watering showcase (www.tidetotable.ca) of product, price and availability, orders are made on individual dishes or medleys of fresh frozen seafood.

THE WALCAN STORY 

The changes brought by Covid-19 create the need for seafood harvesters to adapt. For example, Walcan Seafood has sold Dungeness crab, a product previously found on restaurant menus exclusively. Walcan Seafood sells mostly seafood wild caught in B.C., in addition to P.E.I. lobster and Alaskan salmon currently. 

The pandemic crisis in health has refocused many families about their diet. Seafood is proven to be a health conscious choice and, not insignificant is the coastal nature of the market for Walcan Seafood. People on the coast take fresh wild salmon for granted most of the year, black cod, ling cod, in season, halibut in October, the west coast has a diet entwined in local seafood.

"We have 26 different products and 24 of them are B.C. caught." Online ordering gives Walcan Seafood a front-line position with customers. "We have red seal Chef Brandon Pirie adding various value-added products and recipes to the menu. We get excellent customer feedback from direct sales service, which is helping us tailor the menu," says McNeil.

"When we are operating at full capacity, we have 200 people on the job. At minimum in low times through the year we have 50. We sure aim for a predictable 52 weeks of work but fortunately we don't have too much down time. The quasi-seasonal nature of the employment does, however, make human resources a challenge."

DELIVERY INFORMATION 

All frozen items are delivered in a recyclable cooler with gel packs. Questions? Reach Walcan Seafood at walcaninfo@walcan.com 

Check out Tide to Table YouTube channel for unboxing videos, recipes and more! 

Walcan Seafood Plant & Head Office:
Box 429
Heriot Bay, BC
V0P 1H0
Phone: 250-285-3361

Walcan Seafood to Order

2021

Check out Tide to Table YouTube channel for unboxing videos, recipes and more!