Fish Radio

March 11, 2014

 Chuck Bundrant

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – The story behind the man who made  Trident Seafoods. More after this —

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Trident Seafoods is a uniquely American story; one of home town boy makes good.

 Where you think of a guy who hops into a ’53 station wagon in the middle of winter in Tennessee and stops by to say good bye to family in Indiana and heads west….

 John Van Amerongen is the author of Catching a Deckload of Dreams. It’s the story of Chuck Bundrant, founder and CEO of Trident Seafoods.

 That was in 1961 and at the time Chuck didn’t know anything about fishing boats or fish or anything. I like to say he didn’t know the pointy end from the square end of a fish or a fishing boat. He had just heard that you could make enough money fishing in Alaska to pay your way though college which was very important to him at the time.  

Trident is now the largest source to table seafood company in North America.  Pretty good for a guy who got his start in fish holds at Adak. 

 So literally far below the entry level of anything down there in the bottom of the hold was where he got his start. So if you look at a  beginning like that and see where he wound up as the chairman and founder of the largest vertically integrated seafood company in N. America, it’s a pretty amazing journey that he had. So there was a great story there.   

The Bundrant family asked John Van Am, as he is known in the industry, to write Chuck’s story. Van Am was the voice behind the Alaska Fisherman’s Journal for over two decades.  His goal with the book, he says, was to give readers a seat at the table.

 When I was a young journalist and editor at Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, there was always a special table at a bar or restaurant where the highliners or captains of industry were spilling a few drinks and letting the stories pour out too. And I’d be sitting at the reporters stool at the end of the bar. I finally got asked to join the table once in awhile. My goal was to create a seat at the table for readers .

 The story of Chuck Bundrant parallels the development of Alaska’s seafood industry.  Find Catching a Deckload of Dreams at the Trident Seafoods website.  

Check out the line up at ComFish, April 17-19 at Kodiak.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.      In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.