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Pacific Seafood Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Nov 03, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. – This month, Pacific Seafood is celebrating its 70th anniversary by releasing the official history of its founder, Frank Dulcich Sr., who rose from poverty to achieve the American Dream. Dulcich immigrated to the United States in 1920 from his homeland of Croatia. In the span of twenty years, he started two companies that went bankrupt and even tried his hand at farming before starting his small retail seafood shop, Pacific Seafood, in Portland, Ore. After 70 years of hard work, risky investments, and determination Pacific went from having 18 employees to over 2,500.

Pacific Seafood is one of the biggest names in seafood no one has ever heard of. Although the company is an industry leader, the company's CEO, Frank Dulcich, has always worked to avoid the spotlight. "We have never sought to be the biggest, but simply the best," Dulcich commented. "Many companies focus on growing in size and in the process lose sight of the quality of their products. At Pacific we are constantly asking ourselves how we can improve." Pacific is known for innovation, having developed many technologies that enhance their products and reduce the company's impact on the environment. "We are attempting to revolutionize our industry," said Dulcich. "In order to ensure the safety of our customers, we track every fish we catch from the ocean where it is caught to the store where it is purchased. Our facilities have earned BRC certification, the highest standard of food safety and hygiene, including separation of raw and cooked products and positive airflow to prevent airborne pathogens. Pacific has also implemented a cutting-edge recycling program that diverts more than 600,000 pounds of material from landfills every year." Pacific Seafood released the following company history:

Born in 1900 in Stari Grad, Croatia to a father who worked as a farmer, Frank M. Dulcich (1900-1976), could have lived and died in obscurity like thousands before him. Growing up as one of 10 children in a poor family, Frank started working at a young age, helping his father make wine and olive oil. With money being tight and few jobs to come by in Stari Grad, the Dulcich family decided to pack their bags and move to America. In 1920, the family boarded a boat to Ellis Island and took a train to Portland, Oregon.

While in Portland, Frank cut his teeth in the seafood business and worked with his brother, George Dulcich, at the Plancich Fish Company, which was owned by his uncle. With a desire to make it on his own, Frank moved to Fresno, California to follow in his father’s footsteps and open up his own vineyard. After a few years of unsuccessful farming, Frank decided to move back to Portland and began peddling fish off the back of his car, selling salmon and oysters. Having stable employment Frank went in search of a bride. He met a beautiful young Croatian woman, Antoinette Lucin, at a party with friends. She was perfect in every way and they got married in 1924.

With his bride on his arm and money saved up from selling fish, Frank opened up his first business, A Dulcich Inc, named after his wife. At the height of the Depression the company couldn’t turn a profit and went bankrupt two years later. His next endeavor was to team up with a friend and start a new company, TL Russell and Dulcich. A few years into the business, TL Russell decided to retire and the business closed and Frank went back to peddling fish.

With his money saved up, Frank took his greatest risk yet and started his third company, Pacific Seafood, with his son Dominic. This time Frank quickly distinguished himself from other stores in the area. Due to their success, Pacific was approached by Bay City Oysters Company, one of their competitors who was going bankrupt, and was asked to buy out the business. Within a few months Dominic got his first supermarket account, Bazaar Big C, which gave Pacific the resources to purchase two more companies.

The Dulcich family knew their company would only survive if they worked harder than their competition. This passion led them to work for 31 years until they took their first vacation in 1972. Frank’s grandson, also named Frank, had graduated from the University of Portland to join the family business as one of its 18 employees. From its humble beginnings in 1941, Pacific Seafood has grown to employ over 2500 people at 37 facilities, with processing plants stretching along the Pacific Coast and distribution facilities in seven states. Although the company has grown in size, it is still family-owned and family-focused while always being dedicated to delivering the best seafood products and the best customer service anywhere.

About Pacific Seafood

Pacific Seafood Group is a seafood processing company that launched in 1941 as a small, fresh seafood retail operation in Portland, Ore. Over the years, the family-owned business expanded to become a vertically integrated seafood processing and distributing company to meet customers’ needs and a growing market.

Pacific Seafood processes seafood products from Alaska to Mexico, has facilities in seven Western states and participates in the global seafood trade market. It is a member of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association and is active in promoting a healthy and sustainable seafood industry by supporting fisheries awarded Marine Stewardship Council eco-labels.

Pacific Seafood is under the leadership of Frank Dulcich, the founder’s namesake and grandson. For more information visit: www.pacseafood.com.