Vendor Spotlight: Foley Fish
We all want food to be fresh, right? That’s just a given. But there’s something about seafood in particular that brings us nose-to-package to inspect each fillet, scallop, shrimp, and so on with keen and discriminating eyes. We sniff, we squint, we tilt the package this way and that to see how the product appears from all angles. And often, after each thorough once-over, we head over to the counter to ask the staff what they know- and more importantly, what they can guarantee- about the fish in our hands. More than any other purchasing, buying seafood is serious business.
That’s why we couldn’t be happier to work with the amazing people at Foley Fish in Massachusetts. This 109-year old, MSC (Marine Stewardship Council)-certified company is everything we want in a supplier because they, like us, are passionate about quality, freshness, and sustainability. We can guarantee the superior quality of all their seafood because they do everything possible to ensure all of their customers (like us) receive the most superlative products: the freshest, best-tasting, most conscientiously raised/farmed/harvested seafood there is.
Here are some quick facts about Foley Fish which inspire our confidence and we feel you’ll love as well:
- Their passion for a responsible fishing industry goes being just being certified. Foley Fish has a representative on both the National Marine Fisheries Northeast Groundfish Advisory Panel and the Highly Migratory Species Panel. Laura Foley, fourth-generation owner, has also been on the New England Fisheries Management Council for five years. (If you don’t know much about seafood processors, this level of participation is extraordinary.) And what it means is they actively participate in fishery management- which includes sustainability techniques like limited fishing efforts, marine sanctuaries, low impact fishing, and reduced fish harvests- and can direct customers to only the well-managed, sustainable species.
- Their buying standards couldn’t be higher. Foley Fish only selects (by hand, of course) from the most recently caught, or in other words freshest, catch: fish which have come out of the water either that day or the day before. They also willingly pay a premium to receive the “pick of the catch” from boats which have been out longer and, as you would expect, their buyers carefully scrutinize each individual fish for quality and freshness before accepting it into the Foley fold. For farmed seafood, they travel around New England to seek out the absolute best sources for each product they sell and observe for themselves how each and every operation is run.
- They’re handling and packaging is insanely meticulous. Or just as meticulous as you could hope for it to be. The ideal storage temperature for fish is 32°F and Foley Fish goes to great lengths to assure each and every fish is consistently at this temperature. Their processing room is specially refrigerated, they re-ice all fish as soon as it reaches the plant (even after just being purchased and brought over on ice), and they use a special 12° flake ice. All their filets are hand cut by skilled, veteran employees, candled to fish out (sorry, had to) and destroy any worms, and product that’s torn or ripped is tossed out. They never use brines, phosphates, sodium, or anything like that with any of their seafood. Plus, they use a bacterial control system designed by an MIT marine bacteriologist and for their packaged products, they are happy to incur the cost of using metal instead of plastic because it’s so much better at preserving the freshness of the fish.
- They would rather sell their customers no product at all than less-than-perfect product. Does this need any further explanation? We don’t think so.
So when it comes to purchasing seafood, by all means keep up with the sniffing and squinting- it’s part of being a responsible shopper and we do it too! But you can feel confident that we bring in only the best from one of the best local seafood businesses in our region and we think you’ll love Foley Fish as much as we do.