The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council has added new member, Lawrence Street Seafood Co. Inc, expanding their roster of sustainably-minded crab importers to 19 companies.
Established in 1994, Lawrence Street Seafood is a premium seafood wholesaler and distributor offering a full line of fresh and frozen seafood products. Located in the Liberty Fish building, Lawrence Street Seafood is headquartered in Philadelphia’s historic Food Distribution Center. Over the past two decades, Lawrence Street Seafood has evolved from a small local wholesaler to the national distributor and exclusive importer of Seachest™ brand products.
Seachest™ offers a full line of Indonesian blue swimming crab (Portunus Pelagicus) in the traditional grades available to independent retailers as well as regional and national distributors and wholesalers throughout the continental US.
In 2015, Lawrence Street Seafood expanded the Seachest™ brand to include Canadian lobster tails, lobster meat, and fresh day boat Halibut from a small artisanal fishery. Moving forward, Lawrence Street Seafood intends to diversify the Seachest™ product line by supporting healthy resources with responsible harvest and production methods while maintaining the highest quality specifications.
“For years, Lawrence Street Seafood has been known for the consistency and quality of our products,” said President & CEO Bernard Grogan. “We are perhaps not as well known for our focus on blue swimming crab sustainability. Membership in the NFI Crab Council illustrates that commitment. Talking about sustainability and educating people about it are important but committing a portion of your sales to it is quite literally putting your money where your mouth is.”
Grogan owns a fully integrated, multifaceted seafood operation with a wholesale business, warehousing facilities, and retail stores. The warehousing outlet, Lawrence Warehousing Co. Inc, handles over 250,000 lbs. of seafood a day for other local and regional businesses. Hill’s Quality Seafood Markets is a retail operation with 4 locations in the Delaware and Chester county areas, offering customers a wide selection of high quality seafood.
NFI Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny views the Lawrence Street Seafood addition as a well-timed expansion.
“Lawrence Street Seafood’s addition comes at an exciting time for the Crab Council,” said Sweeny. “As an organization, we are on the verge of moving forward with sourcing and fishery improvement policies that will reframe crab sustainability. Fresh support from well-regarded crab importers like Lawrence Street speaks volumes about our efforts.”
The NFI Crab Council funds fisheries improvement efforts in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Council members fund in-country sustainability work by assessing a fee on the poundage of crabs they import.
The NFI Crab Council was founded in 2009 and funds Blue Swimming Crab sustainability projects through contributions from participating companies and has received grants from the World Bank and the Walton Family Foundation.