Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/14/20- San Pedro Fish Market has partnered with the Local 94 ILWU Foreman’s Union in donating over 2,000 of the market’s World Famous Shrimp Tray meals to local first responders. Mike Ungaro, CEO of San Pedro Fish Market shares why, family and community means everything during these turbulent times.
San Pedro Fish Market began in 1956 and has become a nationally recognized brand in both the restaurant and retail industries. Your motto is “Celebrating Food and Family.” How has your family been affected during these challenging times?
It’s been a very trying time for the entire enterprise not only financially, but also psychologically. Fortunately, we’re like family, and family takes care of one another, so we rallied the team and came up with several strategies to keep as many of our staff working as possible. It’s been more successful than we anticipated but goes to show what you can accomplish when your heart is in the right place.
Tell us about the San Pedro Fish Market. What are the local favorites?
We are known around the country for our World Famous Seafood Trays which draw people in from every state to enjoy…both in-store and by delivery via E-Commerce. The most popular tray consists of sauteed shrimp, fajita veggies, and red potatoes all cooked together in our signature spices with a foot-long loaf of house-made garlic bread!
Your award-winning web series “Kings of Fi$h,” is about a 60-year old journey from a corner store to California’s largest restaurant. How important is the community? What are you most proud of?
My grandfather’s philosophy was to care for our employees like family, make your customers feel like family, and to always treat your community like family…because that’s exactly what they are! What we are most proud of is how many members of our community started their careers working with us in high school and then went on to successful professional careers attributing their work ethic to their time with us. We are bringing this philosophy to all of our new locations with the intention of doing the same.
You’re now lending community support with the Local 94 ILWU Foreman’s Union, by donating over 2,000 of the market’s World Famous Shrimp Tray meals to local first responders. How are you honoring your grandfather’s legacy?
One of my grandfather’s other philosophies was to make the business a place for the family to work if they ever found themselves unemployed so they could feed their families. When the country was shut down, offering work became a challenge so offering to feed people was the best alternative we could come up with. Working with the ILWU to help feed first responders was an honor. It was the very least we could do to show our appreciation for their selflessness.
With over 4,000 meals donated to date, how determined are you in finding ways to continue offering support to those affected by COVID-19?
Our goal now is to look for other organizations we can partner with as our resources to help are becoming more and more strained with the uncertainties associated with re-opening. Regardless, our first responders will continue to be our focus, especially as the hospitals see a spike in new COVID cases. We’re here and we’re ready to lend a hand!
What do you want to say to the first responders?
As a business owner responsible for the well-being of the 400 people we employ, I sometimes forget what the rest of our society is experiencing. When I see the look of exhaustion in the eyes of those who are caring for our health and safety, it makes what I’m dealing with seems like an insignificant distraction. What I want to say is this: Thank you for putting the needs of the sick before your own, thank you for making our health and safety your primary concern!