Am I naive or is this exact service already being provided, just not by someone who knows people at the times?
Interesting article about a guy who's trying to crack into the very tight, very relationship centered business of bringing fish to restaurants. He's not profitable yet, but he does have accounts with Vongerichten and other houses.
Matthew Henderson is the young and energetic guy behind the Day Boat Collaborative. It’s a one-man venture at the moment. He works – collaborates? – with a handful of day-boat fishermen who land fish and shellfish off the coast of Massachusetts, in places that really beg to be pronounced with a Southie accent, like Woods Hole and Scituate. “Day boat” is another way to say small boat, and the connotation and promise is that he is supporting fishermen who are being squeezed out of the business by consolidation and a market that doesn’t appreciate hand-caught fish. Henderson meets them at the dock, takes their catch, butchers it, ices it and drives it south, delivering seafood that’s been out of the ocean for less than 24 (and often 12) hours by the time it arrives at a restaurant.
I met up with Henderson on the cobblestone street outside of Savoy and rode shotgun as he brought deliveries into the kitchens of three restaurants owned by the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten: Mercer Kitchen, Perry Street and JoJo.
New Guy in town
Day Boat site
That's probably some of it. But, the chain of hands for most fish delivery in NY is often longer than just one guy. Based on my experiences with one small MA packing house, there are usually three or four entities between the boat guy and the receiving dock at the restaurant.
I think this is a good attempt at shortening the delivery chain, but I don't think that one guy doing the cleaning, driving, delivering, etc is scalable for a long term business model. You need personal touch at both extremes and you need good quality controls in the middle. it's tough to get all those pieces in sync,and the same person on both ends, as the anecdote about the fish roe sacs illustrates. That wouldn't happen with three intervening people
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
― Niccolò Machiavelli