Have you heard of Alaskan Pollock? After several controversies, they’ve earned enough criticism. Although they taste pretty good but literally, they are deemed to be the ‘bottom-feeders’ found particularly in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. With tunny, amberjack, triggerfish and tilefish, they are usually referred to by some people as the ‘trash fish’. Despite being called ‘trash fish’, you will be surprised to know that there’s a man named Chuck Bundrant, who resided far away from any of the oceans of the world and who has been transforming theses fishes into something that’s worth billions of dollars, as per a recent report from Bloomberg.
Chuck’s brainchild – Trident Seafoods
Well, Chuck Bundrant is not only the founder but also the owner of Trident Seafoods, based in Seattle, a company which is presently worth at $1.1 billion. You’ll be rather surprised to know that Trident had generated $2.4 billion in the form of revenue in 2016 and the company is held privately with 41 fishing vessels and 16 processing plants. Bloomberg reports that this company is among the biggest vertically-combined seafood company located in North America. Even more, it serves European, Japanese and Chinese markets as well.
The fast food chains are few of its most loyal customers and in case you’ve ever ordered any fish item from Burger King, McDonald’s or Long John Silver’s, there are high chances that you’ve eaten fish from Trident Seafoods. In supermarkets and departmental stores, Trident is even sold under their personal brand name and salmon burgers and fish sticks are 2 of the most common products offered by them.
A look at Chuck Bundrant’s background
Bundrant is now a septuagenarian who grew up in Evansville and for a short period of time, he attended Middle Tennessee State University. When he was 19 years of age, he spent his summer holidays among fishing crews and this was what ended up into his 12-year journey through Alaska. He started delving deeper into anything that was related to crabbing and fishing. By early 70s, he made enough fortune to build Billikin, a 135 foot long boat which kept freezing equipment and crab cookers onboard so that they took no time in processing catches and offloading them to the shores directly.
How Trident started spreading its wings
From then on, Bundrant along with his partners started expanding beyond crabbing and they stepped into commercial fisheries. The fast-food chains were extremely impressed with the frozen items of Trident as they thought them to be fresh. The CEO of Long John Silver’s, John Tobe was totally unaware that he was eating Pollock! It was then that Long John’s Silver’s signed a deal that was worth multi-billion dollar with Trident Seafoods on that same day. For Trident, that was the biggest major contract which played a role in introducing Pollock into the American market.
While building his business, it was said that Bundrant earned the reputation of a very strict boss. As per reports from National Labor Relations Board, in 1978, October, large numbers of his crew went on strike to ask for a raise from $3.45 to $6 for an hour but Bundrant provided them a raise of $4. When the employees rejected such a hike, he instantly fired them.
Overall, Bundrant has always tried to maintain a tight-knit family business in the name of Trident Seafoods. Unfortunately, he is currently suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Joe, his son is now the CEO of Trident. Their company’s charitable contributions include donations to Japanese earthquake victims of 2011 and they’ve also supported Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina victims.