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Fishmonger looks to expand in Newberg

NW Fresh Seafood owner Blane Hansen incorporates retail sales at Main Street facility


If the shop smells like fish, someone’s in trouble. Despite owning NW Fresh Seafood, Blane Hansen can’t stand the smell of fish. His low tolerance for the smell correlates with his high standards for the product. Hansen hopes to have the freshest, best fish people can find. In fact, that’s how he started the company four years ago.

“(I wanted) to find fresh fish, I couldn’t find any,” he said. “If we’re known partially for fishing, why does this not exist? At first I just wanted this as a hobby, but I thought if I’m going to go to that trouble, I might as well make it worth my while, so I went to high-end restaurants and asked if I had this product, would they work with me?”by: GARY ALLEN - Fresh catch - Blane Hansen, owner of NW Fresh Seafood, filets a ling cod in his Newberg shop. Hansen is looking to expand his retail enterprises.

The idea was well rceived, so he opened NW Fresh Seafood as a wholesale business, importing fish from the coast and supplying local restaurants.

“The idea set up back then was to get fish in as close to when it’s caught or harvested,” Hansen said. “The idea was only to sell to high-end restaurants and obviously for myself and my friends.”

But he learned to sell to his friends he needed to have a retail license as well. So three years ago, he went through that process too.

“I didn’t encourage retail but wanted to be able to (sell fish) to people who came in,” he said.

Now the business is at a turning point.

“I thought I’d give it three years or so get to know how it all works and see (how to proceed) when it comes at that time,” Hansen said. “After this year looking at the growth we’ve had, in not advertising really, there must be people out here that want (fresh fish).”

With that observation, he said he’s decided to move forward and expend the retail side of NW Fresh Seafood.

“This will be nothing like I hope people have seen because it’ll be that fresh and that high of quality,” he said. “But if I continue down this road I want to get a whole lot better at it. I still think it can be brought in sooner and it can be fresher.”

There’s another aspect to putting more focus on retail services — the location.

“It’s probably the worst retail location there could be,” he said.

The store is situated behind Hillside Fellowship Church at 611 N. Main St. With a small sign in the grass out front, customers drive past the church to a building in the back. There’s limited parking and even less signage signaling to customers that they’re in the right place.

“I just want people when they drive in to make it more user-friendly, easier access if possible, and make it look like where they’re supposed to be,” Hansen said. “The second thing is I want people to walk in and know instantly here’s what we have, some questions are answered. They know what to do and can see we have what they need to cook the fish.”

He hopes to have the remodeling done by March 1, the date of a store event introducing the shop to the community.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “I need to move forward no matter what. Since I’m in construction I should be able to get it done in time.”

In the meantime, he’s going to keep honing his process and work to supply Newberg and the area the freshest fish possible.

For more information about NW Fresh Seafood, visit www.northwestfreshseafood.info.



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Newberg

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  • 21 Nov 2014

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  • 22 Nov 2014

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