Sitka Salmon Shares: behind the scenes

A college professor who studies food systems is putting his money where his brain is. Nic Mink has spent the past two summers in Sitka meeting fishermen and learning about the economy salmon trolling. Now, he’s launched a business to connect individual boats with consumers in the Midwest.

Nic Mink is a sustainable foods fellow at Butler University. He says he started Sitka Salmon Shares trying to answer a question many of us have asked:

“Why does this salmon taste so good here, and taste so bad down in the Midwest?”

For three months last summer, Mink and seven employees packed and delivered frozen salmon in 5-, 8-, and 12-pound boxes to 350 clients in the Midwest. The coho and king salmon was provided by two boats in Sitka; the sockeye came from three Juneau fishing businesses; and Seafood Producers Cooperative in Sitka supplied whatever inventory the others couldn’t.

Cindy Severt is a librarian at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “The idea appealed to me, and the product appealed to me,” she said.

Severt saw an ad for Sitka Salmon Shares last summer in a small arts & culture magazine.

“My husband and I have a garden, and he’s a hunter. So we love good food. We priced it out and figured it was about the price we’d pay for really good salmon in town, and we figured, Might as well try it.”

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