LACEY, Wash.— Family-owned independent distributor Harbor Wholesale recently acquired the brand and intellectual property of the 52-year-old Northwest-based Skippers Seafood & Chowder from Starway Restaurants LLC.
Harbor Wholesale will support the 128 quick-serve restaurant locations in convenience stores and grocers along with the five remaining retail locations and online retail business.
Starway Restaurants, Bellevue, Wash., acquired the Skippers Seafood & Chowder intellectual property in 2007. Starway owner Scott Way and his team began working with Harbor Wholesale in 2013 when they realized Skippers would bring a ‘delicious’ quick-service restaurant (QSR( opportunity to store owners, Harbor Wholesale said.
“With their shared Northwest roots and passion for customer service, quality and value, Skippers and Harbor are the perfect fit,” May said. “Over the last eight years, Harbor has gotten to know Skippers and its customers. Nobody is better positioned or better suited to carry the Skippers brand into the future than Harbor.”
When Rick Jensen, president of Harbor Wholesale, joined the team nearly two years ago, Harbor saw an opportunity for Skippers to become part of an already robust portfolio of Harbor-owned brands, Harbor Wholesale said.
“We are excited to be the stewards of this nostalgic brand and further develop the concept in the Northwest and beyond,” Jensen said. “We see a lot of opportunity to build on the signature fish and chips and clam chowder that Skippers is known for with our team of experts that is 100% focused on our customers’ success.”
Founded in 1923, Lacey, Wash.-based Harbor Wholesale delivers fresh, convenient solutions for people on the go. Harbor Wholesale serves 4,500 convenience stores, independent grocers and QSRs with a robust selection of products. These include Harbor-owned brands held under the Real Fresh Brands such as Mountain Fresh, Via Vita Pizza, Split Shift, Watertown Craft Roasted, Mein Street and now Skippers. Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in Lacey, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Roseburg, Ore. Harbor Wholesale is a subsidiary of Harbor Foods.
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