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Oregon Man Trades Timber Products for Tuna Company
Mike Babcock of Coos Bay, Oregon leaves his 18-year-old timber products company, Goshen Forest Products, to launch a new Pacific albacore tuna Company, Sea Fare Pacific, LLC.
As a native Oregonian and the founder /owner of Oregon Seafoods, LLC, Babcock began Sea Fare Pacific in early 2011 after doing extensive research to define the brand and products that ultimately created Sea Fare Pacific’s line of “once-cooked”
As an avid sport fisherman, Babcock conceived the idea of selling Pacific albacore tuna products after learning just how undervalued tuna was while spending time with fishermen who were looking for opportunity. Babcock was also familiar with the unmatched taste of home-canned tuna, since he and his family and friends often canned their own tuna. That’s when Babcock realized that if he could take the tuna and process it like home-canned tuna, he could create a product that everybody would want. At the same time, he could also add value to tuna and help the fishermen.
Fully committed in his new endeavor to support US West coast fishing families, Babcock met with fishing veterans who urged him to use an earth-friendly pouch for his tuna instead of a can because they felt it would provide a better product after doing some initial testing at the Oregon State University Seafood Research Laboratory in Astoria, Oregon. After much research of his own, Babcock followed their advice and invested in a Toyo Jidoki pouch machine. He then started working with Mark Whitham at the OSU Seafood Research Lab to develop recipes and the Seafood Processors Association to develop cook times.
Babcock has also invested and participated in numerous labs and food groups including the consumer sensory tests at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon where staff did an excellent job setting up a test to get feedback on some of his recipes and packaging materials. With that invaluable information, Babcock has been able to refine Sea Fare Pacific’s gourmet flavored offerings (including smoked), and move ahead with the brand and package development.
But starting businesses where there wasn't anything to begin with is nothing new to Babcock. He has a long, solid track record of being able to develop a venture from the ground up. His last major start up with no prior experience was in wood products in 1993. That business, Northwest Fir Products, which evolved into Goshen Forest Products in 2005, has grown over the last 18 years into a very successful wood products company. Now fully invested in a million dollar seafood plant in Coos Bay, Babcock sold his remaining shares of the saw mill last year to dedicate all of his efforts to the growth and success of Oregon Seafoods.
Word is spreading quickly about how Sea Fare Pacific’s fresh albacore tuna products in a pouch are superior on every level. With the goal to eventually retail the product nationwide to high quality grocery stores, Babcock has already landed accounts with more than 15 stores in Oregon over the last month, including all eight Market of Choice stores.
Success that Mike Babcock proudly embraces as he knows it will have far reaching effects for many American families. “Sea Fare Pacific is going to have a big impact for fishermen and fishing communities as we grow. It just doesn’t make sense to send our premium pacific caught fish to another country for processing when we need to support family’s here in the US,” he says. “We are in the process of putting together the team of people, some individuals and some companies, that will help in defining the brand and company which will ultimately insure its success from the guy in the fillet room to the person delivering the finished package. There will be many key people along the way. As our people and business grows it will get to a point well beyond my capabilities. That will be an exciting time, as I become less, the right people will be in place to take this business where it will ultimately end up employing and feeding a lot of American families with healthy, fresh pacific albacore tuna.”
Attn Media: Mike Babcock is available for interviews; professional video is available if needed. For any public relations inquiries, please contact Jodi Unruh at (541) 954-1667 or email@example.com
About Sea Fare Pacific: Sea Fare Pacific is excited to offer a sustainable pouch of premium quality albacore goodness that tastes like mom’s home-canned tuna! Sea Fare Pacific offers four distinct flavors to draw out the naturally light and mild taste of our 100% white meat Albacore: Sea Salt, Salt-Free, Jalapeño, and Smoked. So forget about the mess of draining oils or water, with their earth-friendly pouch, you can simply tear the seal and enjoy.
When it comes to healthy tuna, Sea Fare Pacific wins hands down compared to the vast majority of commercial tuna brands in the grocery store. Sea Fare Pacific supports standards that promote certified sustainable efforts, and promote US West Coast fishing families; this includes line-catching their albacore off the pristine Oregon, Washington, and California coastlines one at a time with a hook and line to keep the earth and ecosystem safe, and to provide the highest-quality, omega-3 packed tuna. Sea Fare Pacific then prepares its specially selected wild-caught tuna by hand at ice-cold temperatures in Coos Bay Oregon, cooking it only once in a pouch to preserve its natural, heart-healthy oils and flavors.