Sea to Table: A Sustainable Small Business That’s Anything But Fishy
If there’s one thing you want so fresh it’s practically able to jump off your plate, it’s fish. Luckily, Sea to Table has made a business out of providing just that. Without the jumping fish, of course.
Owned and operated by Michael Dimin and his family, Sea to Table partners with fisherman from sustainable, small-scale fisheries and delivers the freshest of catches straight from the docks overnight.
The idea for Sea to Table came from a family vacation to Tobago, a small island in the West Indies. Dimin describes it as “love at first sight with the vibrant fishing community.” Tobago fishermen still use traditional techniques and materials, such as wooden pirogues, in order to keep their fishing population abundant.
A day of fishing with local fisherman, Double D, resulted in a bountiful catch and one huge dilemma: no external market to sell to.
“That day, an idea was born,” said Dimin. “If the fishermen of Tobago could be connected with chefs in New York, both would benefit.”
With that epiphany came Tobago Wild, Dimin’s first business, which inspired and provided the basis for Sea to Table’s business model of directly connecting fishermen with chefs.
However, with a product Dimin describes as “the ultimate perishable,” Sea to Table’s mission comes with it’s unique set of challenges, including working with groups of independent fishermen, the quantity of fish they can catch and the variable nature of weather.
These obstacles certainly don’t drown out Dimin’s enthusiasm for his business.
“We love this business, building a completely new distribution model that drives value to both sides of the supply chain. We enjoy our fisherman partners and create a better market for their fish. We allow our chef partners to serve their guests wild, sustainable fish delivered next day from the water, traceable directly to the boat.”
Sea to Table’s goal of next day delivery unequivocally appeals to consumers; who doesn’t want their seafood to be as fresh as possible?
“We felt strongly that chefs would feel the same way we did: enjoying beautiful seafood next day, directly from the fishermen who caught it,” he said.
The Dimin family line runs deep with those who have dipped their toes into Sea to Table’s water. All four of Dimin’s sons have contributed some part to the business, be it merely working on and off, or serving as a partner alongside Michael. Dimin’s wife also dove in for a few years, leaving Dimin’s daughter the odd guppy out.
A certified B Corporation by the nonprofit B Lab, which rates companies on their triple bottom line commitment to people, planet and profit, Sea to Table stands out as a premiere, sustainable seafood business with a simple motto: “Eat better fish.”
Dimin has taken that motto to heart, expanding the business recently to connect fishermen with college campus diners in order to spread the freshest of fish beyond the confines of restaurants.
“In the future, we hope to be able to connect our fishermen directly with consumers,” he said.
If Dimin has it his way, come soon your dinner might be so fresh you’ll be able to smell the ocean from your own home.