Monday, December 14, 2009

We've only just begun....

December 13th brought a few things for Pike Place Fish Market. Doug Strauss, a longtime fishmonger, school teacher, basketball coach, and now foundation administrator was throwin' crab and shoveling ice as if he'd never missed a beat. Holiday shoppers milled about in the snow as Faith the two-legged dog and her family showed up! The weather and the atmosphere was one thing to remind us but so is that ominous stack of shipping orders watching over our display awaiting their trip through the maze of UPS to the doorsteps of thousands.

The holidays here bring a large amount of shipping orders, which means pallets of boxes, mountains of tape and cardboard, and but a small army of committed and intentional fishmongers at 86 Pike Place.
"The foundation keeps me so busy, but it's a lot of head work and a lot of sitting in front of a when I got the call from Sammy, I said 'I'll be there,'" said Doug. "I want to work and shovel and move!" And not only did he not miss a beat with the mechanics of fish and crab aerodynamics, but Doug always brings some inspiration to the crew with who he chooses to be for others in life and when at the shop. "Pumped to be back at the PPFM for a few days!"

The UPS trucks will be at our mercy starting today so look out. We have fresh crab and both wild and farm raised King Salmon, times are good! Ship it early folks, as much as we love UPS, we don't want people sitting at their dinner table waiting for that beloved, brown truck.

Friday, November 20, 2009

From our first exposure to maybe our biggest yet

Back in the early 90s, the Goodwill Games came to Seattle. The Goodwill Games, over the course of its 16 year existence, helped launch careers of a couple thousand athletes from over probably 100 countries. It was a brainchild of Ted Turner as a way to ease Cold War tensions and did a lot of good in the world. Serving also as one of the launching off points of the "world fame" of Pike Place Fish, the Goodwill Games helped bring a whole heckuva lot of attention to a group of well-intentioned authentic fishmongers. Any Fishguy or BizFutures presentation you hear from us these days includes the story of our bi-weekly dinner meeting back in the late 80's where we said "let's be world famous fishmongers" and we all laughed.......only to have Goodwill Games cameras in our faces throwing fish and then every following day having strangers show up asking "where do they throw fish?"

Well it's now almost 20 years after such exposure and not only are we on film for a sport, but Friday November 20th put us on a stage with the world's game of "futbol" or in the US: Major League Soccer. Playing host to the MLS Cup between Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy, Seattle began opening it's arms this week when soccer games burst out in the street from guerilla marketers and people NOT wearing cleats on the street felt to be in the minority.

With all due respect to the Goodwill Games, this is not a gathering of people playing games to "ease tensions" or to "spark discussion", this is the most popular sport played on the planet. ESPN and US Soccer Legend John Harkes will broadcast what they shot today to approximately 122 countries. The MLS is a league that plays host for players from all corners of the globe. These players play for American cities, European clubs, African nations, and from Universities all over. Basically, we have cameras here every day but Friday there were about 30 cameras that were legit media outlets filming us throwing fish to soccer stars. Funny stuff. We usually have people catch a fish, wash their hands and maybe get a picture. Today, we had custom made aprons from the MLS, we had about 3 cameras behind the counter and 25 out front all filming for TV and we had two pro players Chris Seitz and Alan Gordon essentially trying to "score" a salmon past the other as a sea of people clogged up the entire corner of 1st and Pike yelling about the match on Sunday. There were industry-types and marketing specialists sweating as these dead animals hurdled through the air and flashes lit up everyone's face like we were shooting a feature film. "First class you guys, thank you!" said the marketing team from MLS. I think they expected a bunch of surly and bitter dudes who would resist crowds but they got the fishguys from Pike Place!

The history of soccer and it's place in America always seems to get a bum-rap but since it's arrival in Seattle there has been nothing but uproarious welcome and enthusiasm. The Seattle Sounders made the playoffs as a first-year expansion squad and sold out every single match setting a new MLS record for attendance at over 30,000 seats per game (most MLS clubs only get about 11,000 per game). I write this on Friday and usually do these updates when inspiration visits. The match isn't until Sunday so watch out for more and know your chances of avoiding the fishguys in the media is getting more and more slim. Soccer is getting exciting and that we could be part of all this before the Cup is pretty exciting. Keep here and on facebook for a video of all the happenings from the weekend.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Auctioning ourselves off like pieces of.......Fish!

On Saturday, October 10th, veteran fishmongers Ryan "Yoko" Yokoyama and Chris "Cheddar" Bell stood proud for us fishmongers at Pike Place and helped raise some excitement for the local Seattle non-profit People for the Puget Sound and their annual Harbor Lights Auction. Amassing over 575 guests at the Fremont Studio here in Seattle, the auction had both live and silent items up for bid, including ours which was a dinner for 10 people to be cooked at a place of their choice. Yoko and Cheddar ran throughout the crowd in those goofy orange pants throwing those tasty salmon all over that auction making us a tough act to follow. "I wanted Governor Gregoire to catch one, but instead I chucked it right over her head!" said Cheddar.

"I think it's great to get out and support people like PFPS because what they do is support what we do to keep the waters around here healthy. We don't have a business without the advocacy that they provide," said Yoko. "It's our livelyhood really."

Cheddar added "yeah, it's a little odd sometimes to run around while people are eating and throw fish so close to them but hey, it breaks up the reality a bit and everyone gets to have fun. 's really not that different than what we do at the market. Kinda nice to take it somewhere else and be so well received."

The Harbor Lights Auction and the "Party for Puget Sound" raised more than $236,000!
People for Puget Sound is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, working since 1991 to restore and protect the Sound and Northwest Straits. The Puget Sound Business Travel Association is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is the collective voice of business travel mangament in Western Washington.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peace One Day

This gathering of commitments is exactly the kind of thing we get excited about with our intention of Peace and Prosperity for all as an idea whose time has come. With our new "brochures" that talk more about who we are what we stand for than what we sell, we wanted to spotlight this day and film!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heat in July, not much news there!

Man the news sucks! I'm not sure how to say it in blog-speak or how to "properly" do it but the news media just sucks sometimes. Whether it's propagating negativity about our "poor" economy or making us all believe that we should be affected by something completely unrelated, they continually choose to focus on negativity.

News is news and we realize a lot of people aren't completely jazzed by what they do everyday and need something to chew on over dinner, but we at the fish market are not like that. We are who we are because we acknowledge these things as elements that make up the whole thing and choose a more positive and fun path. Back in December when the city of Seattle was held hostage by ice and snow and all the reporters couldn't write about anything but our mayor's apparent inability to act, we were doing jumping jacks in our Grundens, driving to the airport and creating a package brigade so people got their fish for the holidays.

Today it was pushing 103 degrees and we were opening up our cooler for local businesses supplying them with ice, having oyster shooter parties out front,(even Mariner's First Baseman Russell Branyan showed up yesterday to hang out and throw a fish( and selling fish like it's July and we are world famous Pike Place Fish. The local news station was down the way at our competitors spot drying their tears because their apparent "woes" for the heat was news. Guess what, they didn't come to us because we were too busy selling! "Oh, Pike Place Fish has a crowd and they're throwing fish because they're selling fish, let's go and report on how lame business is down the way because of the heat!" Wow. Once again, generating what we want and how we want to experience the day will always win. The weather will do what it wants (shovel more ice!), whether it's icey and 4 degrees or sweltering and 103, we only have the choice to be who we want when it happens. We separated ourselves again today and man did the beer taste good at 6:30 when we closed!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Talking Furniture?

We're on the Montana! Anders and Scotty did a three part interview with the AM radio crew outside Bozeman and now it's available online to hear. Johnny also did a two part interview the week before so check them all out right here:

Here is some info about Leslie and her organization in Montana:

About Leslie

Leslie Cunningham, CTACC
Coach Training Alliance
Certified Coach

How My Husband and I Got Out of Debt, Got on the Same Page and Started Building Wealth

I came into this work shortly after my husband and I were married. Like many newlyweds, we did many things that caused us to go into debt. I quit my secure job to spend time on the road with my husband, who is a professional singer/songwriter.

This was an amazing time for both of us. We then honeymooned in New Zealand and had some wonderful adventures that still cause me to laugh and fill me with joy when I think about them.

Eight months later, when we came home, I remember walking back to the house after collecting the afternoon mail. I started flipping through the envelopes. I saw a credit card statement, another credit card statement and our bank statements. It was in that moment that I felt a deep tension in the pit of my stomach.

I realized that even though I had married the man that I absolutely loved and adored, I really didn’t have a clear sense of how he handled money and how the two of us were going to blend our different approaches to handling money in our marriage. I was very organized, detailed and more frugal with money. He was more of a laid-back free spirit type. I also knew that getting on the same financial page was a key factor in creating a successful marriage and financial future.

Going Out On a Limb

I asked my husband if he would be willing to set up a time each week to talk about our finances and develop a plan for getting rid of our credit card debt (we had acquired over $43,300 in credit card debt over a three year period). My husband said he would be willing to do this. He was skeptical—but willing.

We came to refer to our weekly meetings with each other as our Financial Dates. After we would complete a Financial Date, both of us felt surprisingly uplifted and empowered.

As a result of having our Dates we completely paid off all of our credit card debt within two years, started funding our retirement accounts, quit arguing about money, gained a solid understanding of our cash flow and created a spending plan that both of us were motivated to stick to. That was just the tip of the iceberg. And you know what—those changes didn’t really surprise me that much.

What completely surprised me was the synergy that my husband and I experienced when working together to achieve our financial goals and dreams. We wouldn’t have experienced this in our relationship had we not come together with a unified goal of improving our finances as a team—not individually, but as a team. This added an entirely new dimension to our relationship. I began to think of these Financial Dates as our own holistic approach to money and marriage success.

“Leslie, It’s Imperative That You Share This with the World!”

I was sharing the details of one of our Financial Dates with my mentor coach at the time, and she stopped me in mid-sentence, and exclaimed, “Leslie, you have so much excitement and passion around this Financial Dating concept and it’s an amazing idea. You have got to share it with the world!”

So with her encouragement, I completed my training to become a professional certified coach so that I could teach this process to others. I received my credentials through Coach Training Alliance, which is accredited through the International Coaching Federation. I then began to teach our Financial Dating Process to other couples.

Financial Dating® Created Financial Success for Other Couples

I remember one particular call I received from a man on a cold Montana day. He sounded overwhelmed and frustrated. He said, “Leslie, I heard about you through a friend of mine and you sound exactly like the person that we’re looking for. I really want to talk to you about finances and how to make this work in our marriage.” I invited him to attend a Financial Dating class I was teaching.

After the class he walked me outside and said, “You are the person that we’ve been praying for. I walked out of the house last week and it was the worst fight that my wife and I had had, and I swore to her, I promised her that I would find somebody who could help us, and you’re that person.”

I put together a Financial Dating class and he got together several other couples and I started teaching them how to have Financial Dates. One year later he shared with me that for the first time in 14 years he and his wife had finally put a clamp on the internal hemorrhaging in their finances. They willingly changed their destructive money behaviors, stopped charging to their credit cards, paid off $13,779 of debt, put $4,879 into an emergency savings account and saved over $51,200 in interest by transferring a personal loan. He also shared that he felt significantly closer to his wife. If they could do it, you can too.

Living a Fulfilling Life that’s in Alignment with Our Deeply Held Values

I have come to realize that successful money management is so much more than just paying off debt, buying a new home and stashing more money away in our retirement accounts. True financial success is about living a life that is in alignment with our most cherished values. It’s easy to say that we value our health, marriage, children, friends and family. But when we step back and look at how we spend our time and money, we’ll see that we often don’t spend it on the things that are most important to us. There’s nothing like money to easily pull us off track.

We have to stop and define what financial success means to us. I believe that true financial success is about having a life that is filled with life enriching experiences and time for the relationships that really matter. That means slowing down and not working so hard. Financial success is about the lives we touch and the lasting memories we make. It’s about spending less, giving more and living more.

The Financial Dating® Success Program

Leslie Cunningham is the creator of Financial Dating, a proven and revolutionary money management system that helps couples create financial freedom, connection, and success. When we are able to move beyond our limiting beliefs, limiting money behaviors and our reactive way of interacting with our partners, we find that it is possible to get rid of debt, get on the same page and build wealth with our partners.

Leslie helps clients get in touch with their deepest values and use those values to manage their finances in a holistic way—so they end up not just with more money, but also with a richer experience of life. The Financial Dating Success Program empowers couples to get their finances in order and start living their ideal lifestyle now—instead of putting it off until they’ve obtained wealth at some future date.

Leslie is a sought after speaker and dynamic coach who specializes in teaching couples how to transform their financial weaknesses into strengths. She is passionate about helping couples live richly by turning their financial and lifestyle stress into inspired action.

Your Next Step

Click here to read What Clients Say and learn about the break-through results they've achieved with Leslie's private coaching and programs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One man's interpretation

After some negotiating, we agreed to be part of this video. We did not have final cut, we did not help edit. We are in the world to make a positive difference. We hope that PETA is too. Operating in a context of peace, we're presenting to the veterinarians on teamwork, commitment and intention.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yo Son!

Good to get all this PETA out of the way.
Also good to get involved with some fun stuff here in Seattle. This Saturday up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, we will be feeding the masses to help celebrate the one year anniversary of a small, shoe and t-shirt business that focuses on hard-to-find and limited release sneakers.

We love tourists, man do we love them. But locals are great people too and when we team up with things happening here in Seattle, it really makes a difference for us. After all the hollering and throwing, we do have lives here (some of us) in this great city and enjoy our place in the community. We're happy when we have loyal, local customers who bypass the crowds and happy when they invite us to be part of what they're doing; in this case a one year anniversary of their sneaker boutique. If you're in town, head up Pike street for some grub and beats at Rock, Paper Scissors!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

wow PETA

"no comment" says four year fishmonger Ryan Rector as a member of the Associated Press walks by. Usually we see cameras here for tourist film roll or maybe an obscure commercial or just a picture or two for an upcoming sports event.......but today apparently we're all just bad people for doing what our mothers always told us not to: throw our food.

We're having fun and we respect the stuff we sell (why wouldn't we, it pays our living!).
Check it out and please provide your own candid comments for our lovely Komo4 News!

Here is one choice member's words:
"Hey PETA: I often toss live mussels and clams into a pot with some clam broth, vegetables and seasoning, crank up the heat, wait for all the tiny screams to stop and then eat them.

Sue me. "

The Story

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Two years a fishmonger

Scotty's story on coming to Pike Place Fish Market....more monger tales to come.

I parked my car under the viaduct on Alaskan Way because that is the only place I had been in Seattle. I walked up the Pike Street Hillclimb because that was the only way I knew how to get to the market. I vaguely remember the voice on the other end of the phone a few days before saying to get there around 8. It was 7:45 Monday morning and I was shaking. Just walk up and say hi, they'll totally remember you. Oh man, they're busy. Who looks like they're in charge, I'll grab them. Maybe I should just forget it. No, go introduce yourself.

I had just spent the night on a friend of a friend's floor in Seattle after arriving the night before. All that I owned was in the back of my car, including a bike without a front wheel (that had somehow danced off my roof rack somewhere around Portland, Oregon). On the road from Pennsylvania (home in Lancaster) by way of Colorado (friend's graduation, alma mater visit to Colorado College) and a Memorial Day weekend ultimate frisbee tournament in Bozeman, wallet and I were ready for the next step (desperate may be the word).

I had watched the FISH Video, seen the Real World episodes, and properly built up the Northwest to be quite the utopia of mountains, oceans, beaches, and oh yes.....fulfilling work places (the city supports a fish market that espouses a "philosophy", that's gotta say something). I saw the fish market as a place probably with a grueling, long and arduous interview process. You're on stage, you have books, you travel, you get to be in pictures, this is not a job for the average young kid looking to make a buck. Maybe I can get in as an intern if I say I'm hip to their philosophy and drop some lines about being present and "making a difference". Well as in many things in this short life, they're never as they are in your head.

I step in a puddle while almost running into like three guys. My backpack is soaked and I have a hard time hearing the question or believing it to be a real question when Sam asks me "do you have any injuries?". The place is known around the world, it shows up in magazines, newspapers, Harvard business journals and the first question they ask an "applicant" is if they have any injuries? Then it sets in that a lot of work has been done and it's not even 8am. There is a helluva lot of fish already displayed. They guy who I just bumped into almost knocked me straight on my ass. Oh yeah, this is a busy, outdoor fish market in the middle of Seattle. The philosophy stuff will come later I guess, I better just let him know I'm not a powderpuff first. "No sir, no injuries sir" I say progressively louder until I hear myself and wonder if I really am that militaristic. Sam laughs and tells me to chill out and talk in the back room. Not chilling out at all, I follow and begin to freak out about this potential "interview".

Sitting on an overturned milk crate in a room that feels like a closet filled with boxes, sweatshirts, rubber boots, Grundens fish waders, and a small computer in the corner, I meet Dicky who I now remember is the one I talked to two days before when I was calling from a payphone in a parking lot in Eugene, Oregon. "I don't remember. Dah well, you're here now. D'you want to work?" he says. Now all my career counseling sessions at the ivory tower school in the rockies told me about the importance of hand shakes with eye contact, bullet points with consistent verbage on the resume, and following up after making contact......but no where did they say what to do if the first question is "do you want the job?" I was looking for the hidden cameras and decided to keep my why-you-should-hire-me speech for another time and just take the opportunity.

So to round out the beginnings of his venture, the first order I took from someone over the counter I was holding in my hand and yet still yelled out that it was "going to Montana" as I got bulldozed by three guys (one of which sat on my back and yelled about it while getting a round of applause and thunderous laughter).

2. Some kids on a scavenger hunt asked me about what it meant to work there and I about started crying cause I couldn't give them an answer that would fit in the amount of space they had.
3. I was choking down my fifth cup of coffee at 10:30am on the sidewalk when a Seattle DuckBoat tour drove past while honking, waving and taking my picture yelling "hey fishguy!".
4. On my second day, I ran across a billboard for a bank that said "it was like only yesterday that you threw your first fish" and I was grabbing strangers telling that it was ACTUALLY yesterday that I did that.

Those are some highlights and if you've read this long, I applaud you. Since then, I've traveled to Houston and addressed a room of 300 physical therapists about what it means to work here. I've been in a room with 10 high school guidance counselors telling them why we are the way we are. I've sold a fish for over $800 and I've sold scraps of salmon bones for 50 cents. I've stood outside in 10 degree weather for a twelve hour work day and I've gotten sunburnt on my left arm from staking out the Alaska Airlines Cargo lot in our truck for our fish from the Copper River. I've thrown fish synchronized with the Seattle symphony and I've had my picture pop up in magazines, emails, and web picture galleries.

At the end of the day though, I go home smelling like sweat, fish an probably have one too many beers. I don't spend my nights on that friend's couch anymore and I even have a dog now. My hands are like sandpaper and I have probably said some pretty off color stuff in public settings. But I sell fish and I have fun doing it because I say so and because my coworkers are commited to that too. We are our own commitment and we are our buddy's commitment; wholes in alignment. If you've ever experienced that, you know what I mean. This experience is not over for me and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Today is June 4th and two years ago on this day I fell asleep at 7:30 because it was my first day at Pike Place Fish.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

a market character

We get some characters here at Pike Place I won't lie. From the guy who picks old coffee cups out of the trash cans, to the Johnny Cash singin' buskers on repeat and the couples holding their wine glasses while exiting the limo for whom recession means nothing. We love them all and recognize it as one of the primary charms of an outdoor, year-round public market.

Now Michael Kennedy does not pick up other's trash and he didn't get dropped on our stoop by a stretch limo, but man is this guy a legend already. I'm cleaning out the cooler after a trip to the airport as always. shoveling ice and grabbing garbage bins. I'm cutting cardboard and rippin' through it like a mad man with a knife and all the sudden, this cat with business clothes under the iconic Grundens fish waders grabs stuff and starts telling me to go faster! "Give me something heavy to lift! What do you need man? I'm here to help" I knew we didn't hire a new guy but I did remember a care package delivered to us with pictures, a hand written note and some gifts from the Scion car company signed "Kennedy".

Kennedy has seen the FISH video, he's read the books and after a brief phone call a couple years ago with veteran fishmonger Dan Bugge (now of Matt's in the Market) he showed up to work a little bit ever since. Dan said "you want the real experience and to know what we're about, show up to work".

So Kennedy cleaned, he wrapped fish, he sent us goofy pictures, he shook hands with strangers and went home with inspiration for his daily "grind" (in his case, working with Scion cars). Here is a blip from an email he sent to his team:

From Salmon to Scion: A Study in Outrageous Customer Engagement

The Growl is Alive and Well in Seattle, WA. Who have YOU growled with lately?

Everything they do, say and think is aligned to move in that direction. Let's us continue to do our part!

What a blast. If they can make a ton of money working in the damp, cold market... and have people visit them from all around the world to photograph and video them selling dead fish... by God, we can achieve the same results selling Scions (or anything else for that matter).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Amdassadors for Good Things

Copper River is an actual river. A 300 mile river near Cordova, Alaska. Did you know that? The fish from this river usually have tags signifying their authenticity. They are big fish. They are fatty, oily, and sometimes expensive fish. The Copper River Delta, which extends for 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) is the considered the largest contiguous wetlands along the Pacific coast of North America. I don't want to sound like a PBS pledge drive, but if you've been waiting all year to buy your salmon, now is the time to do it. The kings are big and tasty and the sockeyes are the first run of the year so wild fish are here to stay for the summer months! Although we're not Pike Place Salmon market (we do sell things like buffalo fish, trout, rockfish, crabs, the list goes on..) we do get pretty amped about this particular salmon. It gets busy around here for that fish and ho man do we like that! You can pre order and have Scotty hand pick your fish off the back of his truck at the airport.

What better way to ring in the new fish season than to get some good old fashioned press? We love us some tourists and it shows apparently. Besides the larger than life size photo of Justin in a window display up Pike St., the group Tourism Matters made a real effort this year to emphasize the importance of visitors to our city and commerce. Capped by a gathering of around 300 at Westlake Center, Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau rolled out the red carpet for us. Justin went up to the gathering for us and accepted the award for Seattle Tourism Ambassador of the Year for 2009.

"It's not so much what we do at Pike Place Fish for tourists, it's more about who we are and what we want to be for ourselves and for where we work and live. This is our city and we want people to want to be here so that is basically what governs, ya know......walkin' down the street and picking up a piece of trash or asking someone if they need help with directions"

We love what we do, it's not an act. We are having fun at work because we want to have fun with our day and our life. We sell awesome stuff and make this one of a kind market come alive, what's not to love?

low flying fish for the man in the Tuxedo!

After 12 hours of talking with people, cutting fish, shoveling, yelling, talking on the phone, what do you think we do?
I'm sure we can all have our ideas of what a fishmonger does in his free time, but for one particular evening last week, I'll flat out tell you it didn't involve binge drinking, swapping tales of the sea, or tying up holes in our nets for the next day's "catch" (sorry to bust up your fantasy, but we don't fish too much).

Yes, this night involved black ties, elaborate lighting, a full orchestra, a composer named Mateo and a big thank you to the top donors of Children's Hospital of Seattle at WaMu Theater. Everyone's time was a donation that Thursday including the musicians (an orchestra and Natalie Cole) the Starbucks barista who made lattes to the beat, and the eight of us who threw fish to Mateo "Matt" Messina's piece for the evening "low flying fish". Although the event was not a benefit, we all knew why we were there and why we said "hell yes" when Mateo asked us to be part of it. "A lot of these people who are here are not from here in Seattle and don't know you guys are in the presentation so just have fun and I know it will be contagious!" said Messina.

We fishmongers were reprising a performance that we did three years ago for Messina at a similar event at Benaroya Hall for Children's Hospital. He travels the world, scores movies and composes full symphonies, and now a new bullet point on his resume includes coreographing eight tatooed, exhausted and smelly fishmongers from downtown Seattle.

The yelling and energy that we bring to our work is one thing but when our "work" is brought to a new audience in a new context, you know we're somewhere in the right ballpark of our intentions. 12 years ago, Dicky said "why not Pike Place Fish the movie?" and the next week, Free Willy showed up and the folks from Charthouse made the best selling training video in the world. Recently, we said World Peace and our own backyard of Seattle Children's Hospital is an awesome place to start! Who knows where you'll pop up when you work at a fishmarket right?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Changing Now, Forever

A new guest at our bimonthly meeting last week brought something different to the table. Not just his appetite and some laughs, but Justin's brother Chuck came to us asking for support for a new movement. I don't want to summarize too much for fear of simplifying the message, but we at Pike Place Fish are partnering up with Chuck, Michael Beckwith and an organization called "Changing Now, Forever".

Here are some words from the site giving an idea of what we're talking about:

Featuring Michael Bernard Beckwith, renowned spiritual leader and teacher of The Secret

By now most of us have been made aware of The Secret and its simple but sublime message of believe, act, receive. And all of us have been exposed to the adage "there's no time like the present." Genesis Global, a center for spiritual living, is combining both to bring a new paradigm of goodness to Seattle and the world at large -- beginning today.

Good stuff, but most important is that some events are showing up for us in our new set of intentions for world peace. We improved our logo, put it on our shirts and our hats and now we can get involved with a group doing some great work toward a new goal for world peace!

Friday, April 24, 2009

fishing for new media

although the resistance from some here at Pike Place Fish to throw some money at that thing they call the "internet" way back when was quite high.......we're diving back in for technology. The blog was one thing, but now you can even find us on facebook and twitter ("fishguys"). We like beers after work, we like our rough hands and now in the vein of change in 2009, we like the computer!

We're all about experience here and for those that can't come to the market in Seattle, we want to do our best to deliver the experience of being here to you. The kids are using facebook and twitter, so why the hell not right? There you can follow us just like here but even better, you can add your own content like pictures, links, comments and all kinds of good stuff.

Stay up with the times, maybe some day we'll all have phones buried in our wrists and all we have to do is think about fish and it'll appear but for now, we're gonna stick to what we know and explore the new stuff to see if it's worth it. Let us know!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

World Famous Globetrotters

Although we as fishmongers have traveled the world with our "antics" and message of joy, fun, peace and presence.....we are but minor players when set next to a group like the Harlem Globetrotters. A mere 82 years are under their belt as "Ambassadors of goodwill" on this planet. We like a lot of things here at the market but combining forces with like minded people can't get much better. We like attention, they like attention, I won't lie and say there wasn't a bit of a struggle for the spotlight that day. That and a whole heck of a lot of yelling, positive energy and smiles around.

As they tour the northwest hitting Seattle (Key Arena Saturday April 25th) and some other spots in British Columbia, they will take their energy, fun and basketball skills to anyone and everyone. Last week, that included us at Pike Place Market and on King5 news the next morning.
Cameras, kids, and a special appearance from Globetrotter legend Fred "Curly" Neal made that day a special one for us all. All of us had our special memories of Curly we wanted to share with him (I mean, this guy goes waaaay back!). He's played over 6,000 games in 97 countries and just happened to pencil us in, awesome! Also, it appears, he may just be more bald than our shipping manager Jeremy.

Also in attendance was Big Easy Lofton who helped display yet another use for King Crab legs (nice try Scott, but you're just an amateur).

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Guest Blogger

This is a blog post by Antonio Neves, host of program called "Cool Runnings".
Although we hassled him and called him Tracy Morgan for most the day, he took it well and worked hard. He and his crew worked with us and followed us around on one February day in 2009. Check out the videos they compiled here:

Pike Place Fish: The Inside Scoop on Becoming World Famous

A Blog by Antonio Neves

On the surface, the open-air Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle is what you tend to expect. A diverse spread of fresh fish, fishmongers playfully barking at — and entertaining — customers and, of course, flying fish, crab and lobster tails. But beneath the surface is a team and philosophy that go beyond any newspaper headline or story.

As legend has it, when Pike Place Fish Market almost went out of business in the mid-1980s, it was saved when an employee said it should become “world famous.” Over the course of the next few years, that’s exactly what Pike Place Fish Market did. But for the life of me I couldn’t fathom what being “world famous” meant. Moreover, how does being “world famous” translate to success and, more important, more revenue? I asked members of the whole team what being “world famous” meant to them and, surprisingly, no one mentioned anything regarding fish or sales numbers. The varied answers all hinged on a consistent theme: Making a difference in the lives of others. Yes, these tough guys who sell fish want to make your life better. Whether while unloading fish from a truck at 6 a.m., entertaining customers or cleaning up at the end of the day, they’re not just making someone’s day — they’re working to change the world. It all starts with them and a choice they make every morning when they wake up.

To read more from Antonio, go here to follow his blog

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who said winter is dead?

Ask anyone that works in the market and they'll love to tell you that business dies during the winter months (isn't it so easy to chime in on negativity?!) but at the special spot behind Rachel the Market foundation piggy bank, special things occur. The last blog post was a battle cry and this one will serve as evidence to let you know that we are in fact, being who we say we are.
We at the fish market refuse to stand still and react to all the crap in the world like recessions, cold weather and general complacency with the way the things are. That may be the way a lot of people are seeing the world but not us, we don't buy it. We get that people just want company for their bad moods but we've never gotten where we are doing things in an ordinary fashion.

The last week in February, Erik, Scott, Jim (our BizFutures consultant) and Johnny went to Houston to meet with over 250 employees of Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. A standing ovation, an open invitation to join our movement for World Peace and some driving adventures through rural Texas and we now all know that we will be sticking around for as long as we say so. To get that many people who are doctors, physical therapists and succesful business professionals to touch dead fish in the middle of their work day and participate in a dialogue of communication and living a life of intention was pretty special. The people that make up Memorial Hermann are changing peoples' lives every moment of every day and we were honored to share our story and hear theirs. To still be doing presentations like this with such a timeless message and have people still out there with a listening for the principles that guide our everyday is just awesome.

As far as our winter at 86 Pike Place, we've been throwing hats onto peoples' heads, throwing fish into peoples' hands, heading to mussel farms (for the Penn Cove Musselfest), getting married in Hawaii, and continually bringing in wild salmon, fresh dungeness crabs and generating the energy and environment that we've always done (it's worked pretty well so no need to change too much!)

I'm not lying, this couple from Des Moines, Washington were buying salmon to feed their turtles! We like what we sell cause we always say "everyone has to eat" but this is an added bonus for which we could never plan.

Lisa Ling takes a break from world traveling, The View and Oprah to have some fun at our fish market! After some expert coaching from Taho, she caught the fish on her first attempt.

Yes, Kenny G has been spotted many times in Seattle. With all the music venues like The Triple Door, Jazz Alley and public radio stations like KEXP and KPLU, the rainy city is a hotspot for musicians of all interests. Here, he finds his long lost brother fishmonger Jaison Scott (who is now in Hawaii getting married!)

Johnny the boss got his salmon and crab dinner, then took a few minutes for the Microsoft Network (MSN) and a show they were filming about businesses who are continuing on in '09. After a 4:30 call, they were ready with cameras setup at 6am and rolling until our group meeting at Tai Tung Restaurant that night at 9pm. Not only did they ride in the truck with Scotty to get fish, but the host threw on the Grundens and learned to select, weigh, cut and package his very own King salmon. We don't know when the feature will air, but keep posted to see the previews, we know it will be a bit different from the 11 year old "customer service" video many of you may have seen.

And to add one last bit, many of us here in Seattle have been a bit distraught with the performance of our sports here in the northwest. I won't even go into the details about the Sonics basketball history, the Seahawks dismal '08 or the UW football program, but one bit of hope on the horizon that we hope to be part of is the new professional soccer team Seattle Sounders FC. With the greatest coach in the country (Siggi Schmidt), a great pickup from Sweden, and over 20,000 season tickets already sold (including five to Scotty and Jeremy here at the fish market), we are pumped for the world's game here in Seattle. We love being part of the community here and we know they all need the good fats and oils of fresh salmon to maintain optimal athletic performance.
The phrase "choose your attitude" or "change your conversation" are repeated a lot around here but sometimes it's pretty frickin' nice when something good happens to the general climate that makes you happy (it's a lot easier that way) and the Sounders have already brought that to the city of Seattle.

Monday, February 9, 2009

We're Still Here

There is a band out of Minnesota called The Hold Steady that released a record last year called "Stay Positive". Frequently lauded as a band that speaks truth of a generation and also keeps authenticity of the guitar, bass, drums setup of rock music, their lyrics are always something to examine. The title track off that record speaks well to us now in 2009 as we all enter a new phase in history.

"cause its one thing to start it with a positive jam
and its another thing to see it all through
and we couldn't of even done this if it wasn't for you
we gotta stay positive"

The chorus of "We gotta stay positive" is something we all remind ourselves of here at the fish market during the winter months. After the ruckus of the holiday shipping season, some of us take vacations, we cut down our hours, and the 12 hour days can become a mind game as we stand in the cold adjusting to the new speed of our work day.

What we at Pike Place Fish have always done is take that next step and "see it all through" because we really don't want to be ordinary. We each individually must make a profound relationship with the way things are and create possibilities from the present. When we get stuck on things like weather, the amount of people in the market, the competition, whatever it may be.......we've taken ourselves out of our own game.

Economic times are what they are and the news can be downright depressing. What happens though is the true, honest and authentic organizations will emerge from this even stronger. These times are but an opportunity to be the safe, fun environment of energy and enthusiasm that we stand for. We take a stand for ourselves to inspire others...and sell great fish!

An NPR affiliate and college, public radio station in Colorado, KRCC, had their pledge drive fall right at the beginning of this recent downturn and they feared the worst. Everyone at that station had to make a choice that they wouldn't buy into it. They not only hit their goal but their station manager actually made them "slow down" so they could continue their pledge drive programming.
Michael Franti is a musician who started out fired up about social injustice and political corruption. After a series of records expressing that, he found himself nowhere different from where he started and was just as mad. He made a choice to celebrate humanity and what's possible and began a world movement with the joy of gathering for peace and understanding across country borders. He now has documentaries about his mission for peace in Iraq, Gaza and all over the world.

For us, we're not starting radio stations, traveling to Palestine or writing songs about positivity, but we are generating for who we want to be in 2009. Like the country as a whole, we can't continue our old ways. We cleaned house and have the best crew we've ever had. We took a stand for better fish (and we got wild king salmon and fresh crabs everyday in January!). What we are doing though is generating a new video (one that's ours, not Charthouse Learnings). We have new avenues for discussion with people in Europe about our technology of Being from Bizfutures. We are developing our charity work with People for the Puget Sound and the Jacob Greene Foundation.

We want this world to be better and now that we've taken that stand, we are it and we want our actions to follow. More details about these things will be in the future, but know that that the wheels are turning and we will always STAY POSITIVE!