SeaBear Smokehouse

SeaBear Smokehouse was founded in 1957 by fisherman Tom Savidge and his wife, Marie, in Anacortes, Washington. The pair began selling smoked salmon to local taverns and cafes and their product became quite popular. 

The company, now called SeaBear Smokehouse, was originally named Specialty Seafoods. The name was changed in the early 90s to ground the brand in its strong Pacific Northwest roots and highlight the tie between bear and salmon.

Local tavern owners loved the Savidge’s smoked salmon. So much in fact, they wanted to buy more of it at a time with a longer shelf life. They reached out to Tom to ask if he could find a way to preserve it longer. 

This led to Tom’s invention of the Gold Seal™ pouch, now known as the retort pouch, an innovative way to preserve the salmon without refrigeration, extending the shelf life of products. Previously, there was no other pouch that could preserve food without refrigeration. 

This invention made it easier for travelers to transport the salmon from the Northwest back to their families in other areas of the United States and Canada. This also allowed the Savidge’s to begin shipping their product to other places. 

The company took off as a major producer of smoked salmon and today ships a full line of seafood products to customers in all 50 states. According to the SeaBear website, “[we] remain dedicated to the same principles upon which Tom Savidge founded our company decades ago: Make great food people love, and always listen to our customers.”

SeaBear focuses on sustainability by actively seeking out fisheries with strong environmental sustainability practices. The company is also dedicated to using Non-GMO seafood and proactively sourced Non-GMO ingredients. Additionally, the company is guided by the advice of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program for its seafood choices, focusing on those sources evaluated to be “Best” or “Good” alternatives. 

Since its founding, SeaBear has offered 100 percent pure, natural wild salmon from Alaska. The company’s standards for quality are so strict that less than 1 percent of Alaskan salmon meets the specifications for SeaBear smoked salmon.

Every filet of salmon goes through a 15-step process, with each step done by hand. This process takes a full two days in SeaBear’s small-batch artisan smokehouse to produce a moist, flaky, high-quality smoked salmon that rivals its competition in quality and taste.

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