Sunday, June 19, 2011
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Terminates Pacific Pride Seafood Inc. as Supplier; Company's Owner Tells Source He's Going Out of Business
Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has ended its supply and procurement relationship with Los Angeles, California-based Pacific Pride Seafood Inc., which has been the 175-store (California, Nevada and Arizona) fresh food and grocery chain's supplier of fresh and frozen fish and seafood since the first Fresh & Easy stores were opened in November 2007, Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned.
Friday, June 18 was the official end of the fish and seafood supply partnership between Fresh & Easy and Pacific Pride Seafood, which has been in business in Southern California for over 20-years, according to our sources.
Rather than using Pacific Pride, which is located at 3264 Mines Avenue in Los Angeles, or another wholesaler as its seafood product supplier, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is folding its fresh and frozen fish and seafood procurement into its in-house meat procurement operation, which was previously 2 Sisters Food Group, its quasi-in-house meat supplier from 2007-2010, which it bought out last year.
Since it was founded in 1987, Pacific Pride Seafood has primarily been a wholesaler of fresh and frozen fish and seafood to restaurants and smaller retail food stores in Southern California.
However, in 2006-2007 when Tesco's Fresh & Easy was starting out, one of its meat and seafood category buyers who had previously done business with Pacific Pride Seafood introduced the owner of the company to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's head of fresh foods, meat and seafood procurement. Not long after that the grocery chain and Pacific Pride established the supply relationship, and the wholesaler has been Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's supplier from 2007 until now.
Over the last five years Tesco's Fresh & Easy has become Pacific Pride Seafoods' largest customer in terms of dollar sales and business.
On Friday, a regular reader of Fresh & Easy Buzz, who's spent many years in the industry in Southern California and has been friends with the owner of Pacific Pride Seafood as well as a customer for many years, told us the company's owner called to tell him Friday that as a result of the termination of his business with Fresh & Easy, he plans to let all his employees go and close the seafood wholesale company, which was founded in 1987.
We tried to contact Charles Love, the owner/sales manager, or any other employee at Pacific Pride Seafood on Friday to verify the closing. However, we weren't able to get in contact with any employees. Instead, despite a number of calls placed, we couldn't get through to a live employee but only the company voice mail and the greetings message.
The Southern California industry source who's close to the owner of Pacific Pride Seafood told us a second time on Friday though that in the fairly long telephone conversation he had with the company's owner, he told our source he has no choice but to close privately-held Pacific Pride because losing the Fresh & Easy account at this time is too great of a financial loss to make up for with other accounts, adding he put too many eggs in one basket, Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, and now he's forced to close the nearly 25-year-old seafood wholesale company.
June 20, 2010 - NLRB Judge Rules Against Key Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Supplier '2 Sisters Food Group' in Labor Relations Violations Case
June 21, 2010: The Missing Link in Tesco's Purchase of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Meat Supplier '2 Sisters Food Group'
August 27, 2008 UFCW Union Reports Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's Prepared Foods Supplier to Labor Board For What it Says is Unfair Firing of Six Employees
March 9, 2009: An English Village, A British Fresh Chicken Brand and Tesco Fresh & Easy's New 'Buxted' Discount Fresh Meat Brand: What Do All Three Have in Common?