Seldovia Wild Seafood to move back home

Since its inception, Seldovia Wild Seafood’s owners have wanted to bring their business back to the little city on Kachemak Bay. This year, their dream will come true.

Seldovia Wild Seafood, which produces smoked salmon jerky for pet treats, has to this point been located in Anchorage with an office on Main Street in Seldovia. The company purchases fish from processing companies and manufactures the treats, shipping them out from Anchorage and supplying some of the stores in the city. The goal has always been to get operations back to Seldovia, though, said Chief Operating Officer Brendan Bieri.

“We want to bring jobs back into Seldovia,” he said. “We want to have these little villages not die out anymore.”

The company’s story dates back to Bieri’s father, Michele Bieri, who arrived in Seldovia in 1986. Michele Bieri loves the community, a small town of about 285 permanent residents, and wants to see more economic development come back to the area, Brendan Bieri said.

Seldovia used to be a center for fishing on the south side of Kachemak Bay, with several canneries for pink and chum salmon and many set gillnet sites. The fishing industry thrived from the early 20th century until the Good Friday earthquake in 1964, which sent massive waves into the small town and flattened much of the infrastructure, according to the Seldovia Village Tribe. The construction of the Sterling Highway, connecting Homer to Anchorage, made it more efficient to center fishing operations on the north side of Kachemak Bay, and the canneries left Seldovia.

His father’s goal is to bring more work to the town, Brendan Bieri said.

“He just loves (Seldovia),” Brendan Bieri said. “… He’s an entrepreneur at heart, basically, and he fell in love with the little town and this is where he’s built his home.”

Seldovia Wild Seafood provides an added-value product, helping to diversify the economy of Alaska beyond just natural resource harvesting like fishing, Brendan Bieri said. Eventually, the company hopes to expand its product line as well, he said.

The plan is to move into a former Seldovia Village Tribe building in downtown Seldovia, a former grocery store on Main Street. Right now, the company is still doing business with processors for its raw product — they need processed fish to manufacture the treats,— but eventually would like to support local fishermen as well, he said.

The relocation is the culmination of a multi-year effort for the company. In 2013, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development pitched in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the construction of a new value-added processing plan on the site of a former cannery, according to the fiscal year 2013 state budget. The plant was specifically intended for Seldovia Wild Seafood, and legislators and local officials took part in a groundbreaking event in July 2013, according to the Homer News.

However, the plant hasn’t been finished or used yet. It’s still missing some utilities and a floor, said Seldovia City Manager Tod Larson.

“So we still have a little bit of work to get that prepared,” he said.

The company hopes to get into the plant eventually, Brendan Bieri said.

For now, the city is working with the company to get its permits and zoning requirements in order, Larson said. The location requires a conditional use permit, which the Seldovia City Council will consider in February. So far, the reaction in town has been fairly positive about a new business coming into the community, he said. The city tries to encourage business development as much as possible without broaching its responsibilities, he said.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to support the business coming in within the boundaries of the city and the council,” he said.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
StoryWalk is back after vandalism

The installation was discontinued last September after someone damaged the poles and podium plexiglass

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Most Read